The Ca-looping process for CO2 capture and energy storage: role of nanoparticle technology

Part of the following topical collections:
  1. 20th Anniversary Issue: From the editors


The calcium looping (CaL) process, based on the cyclic carbonation/calcination of CaO, has come into scene in the last years with a high potential to be used in large-scale technologies aimed at mitigating global warming. In the CaL process for CO2 capture, the CO2-loaded flue gas is used to fluidize a bed of CaO particles at temperatures around ~ 650 °C. The carbonated particles are then circulated into a calciner reactor wherein the CaO solids are regenerated at temperatures near ~ 950 °C under high CO2 concentration. Calcination at such harsh conditions causes a marked sintering and loss of reactivity of the regenerated CaO. This main drawback could be however compensated from the very low cost of natural CaO precursors such as limestone or dolomite. Another emerging application of the CaL process is thermochemical energy storage (TCES) in concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. Importantly, carbonation/calcination conditions to maximize the global CaL-CSP plant efficiency could differ radically from those used for CO2 capture. Thus, carbonation could be carried out at high temperatures under high CO2 partial pressure for maximum efficiency, whereas the solids could be calcined at relatively low temperatures in the absence of CO2 to promote calcination. Our work highlights the critical role of carbonation/calcination conditions on the performance of CaO derived from natural precursors. While conditions in the CaL process for CO2 capture lead to a severe CaO deactivation with the number of cycles, the same material may exhibit a high and stable conversion at optimum CaL-CSP conditions. Moreover, the type of CaL conditions influences critically the reaction kinetics, which plays a main role on the optimization of relevant operation parameters such as the residence time in the reactors. This paper is devoted to a brief review on the latest research activity in our group concerning these issues as well as the possible role of nanoparticle technology to enhance the activity of Ca-based materials at CaL conditions for CO2 capture and energy storage.


CO2 capture Energy storage Calcium looping Nanocomposites 



The microscopy service of the Innovation, Technology and Research Center of the University of Seville (CITIUS) and the characterization services of the Institute of Materials Science of Seville (ICMS) are sincerely acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


  1. Alovisio A, Chacartegui R, Ortiz C, Valverde J, Vittorio V (2017) Optimizing the CSP-cal. Energy Convers Manag 136:85–98Google Scholar
  2. Benitez-Guerrero M, Sarrion B, Perejon A, Sanchez-Jimenez PE, Perez-Maqueda LA, Valverde JM (2017) Large-scale high-temperature solar energy storage using natural minerals. Sol Energy Mater Sol Cells 168:14–21. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benitez-Guerrero M, Valverde JM, Perejon A, Sanchez-Jimenez PE, Perez-Maqueda LA (2018) Low-cost Ca-based composites synthesized by biotemplate method for thermochemical energy storage of concentrated solar power. Appl Energy 210:108–116. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blamey J, Anthony EJ, Wang J, Fennell PS (2010) The calcium looping cycle for large-scale CO2 capture. Prog Energy Combust Sci 36(2):260–279. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chacartegui R, Alovisio A, Ortiz C, Valverde J, Vittorio V, Villanueva J (2016) Thermochemical energy storage of concentrated solar power by integration of the calcium looping process and a CO2 power cycle. Appl Energy 173:589–605Google Scholar
  6. Cordero JM, Alonso M, Arias B, Abanades JC (2014) Sulfation performance of CaO purges derived from calcium looping CO2 capture systems. Energy Fuel 28(2):1325–1330. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. González-Roubaud E, Pérez-Osorio D, Prieto C (2017) Review of commercial thermal energy storage in concentrated solar power plants: steam vs. molten salts. Renew Sust Energ Rev 80(Supplement C):133–148. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Li Z, Fang F, Xiao-yu T, Cai N-S (2012) Effect of temperature on the carbonation reaction of CaO with CO2. Energy Fuel 26(7):4607–4616. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Miranda-Pizarro J, Perejon A, Valverde JM, Sanchez-Jimenez PE, Perez-Maqueda LA (2016) Use of steel slag for CO2 capture under realistic calcium-looping conditions. RSC Adv 6(44):37656–37663. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ortiz C, Chacartegui R, Valverde JM, Becerra JA, Perez-Maqueda LA (2015) A new model of the carbonator reactor in the calcium looping technology for post-combustion CO2 capture. Fuel 160:328–338. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Perejón A, Romeo LM, Lara Y, Lisbona P, Martínez A, Valverde JM (2016) The calcium-looping technology for CO2 capture: on the important roles of energy integration and sorbent behavior. Appl Energy 162:787–807. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Perejón A, Valverde JM, Miranda-Pizarro J, Sánchez-Jiménez PE, Pérez-Maqueda LA (2017) Large-scale storage of concentrated solar power from industrial waste. ACS Sustain Chem Eng 5(3):2265–2272. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Prieto C, Cooper P, Fernández AI, Cabeza LF (2016) Review of technology: thermochemical energy storage for concentrated solar power plants. Renew Sust Energ Rev 60(Supplement C):909–929. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Romeo LM, Lara Y, Lisbona P, Martínez A (2009) Economical assessment of competitive enhanced limestones for CO2 capture cycles in power plants. Fuel Process Technol 90(6):803–811. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sanchez-Jimenez PE, Perez-Maqueda LA, Valverde JM (2014) Nanosilica supported CaO: a regenerable and mechanically hard CO2 sorbent at Ca-looping conditions. Appl Energy 118:92–99. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sobolev K, Flores I, Torres-Martinez LM, Valdez PL, Zarazua E, Cuellar EL (2009) Engineering of SiO2 nanoparticles for optimal performance in nano cement-based materials. Nanotechnology in Construction 3: Proceedings of the NICOM3. Z. Bittnar, P. J. M. Bartos, J. Němeček, V. Šmilauer and J. Zeman. Berlin, Heidelberg, Springer Berlin Heidelberg 139–148Google Scholar
  17. Valverde JM (2013) Ca-based synthetic materials with enhanced CO2 capture efficiency. J Mater Chem A 1(3):447–468. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Valverde JM, Perejon A, Perez-Maqueda LA (2012) Enhancement of fast CO2 capture by a nano-SiO2/CaO composite at Ca-looping conditions. Environ Sci Technol 46(11):6401–6408. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Valverde JM, Sanchez-Jimenez PE, Perez-Maqueda LA (2015) Limestone calcination nearby equilibrium: kinetics, CaO crystal structure, sintering and reactivity. J Phys Chem C 119(4):1623–1641. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Valverde JM, Barea-López M, Perejón A, Sánchez-Jiménez PE, Pérez-Maqueda LA (2017a) Effect of thermal pretreatment and nanosilica addition on limestone performance at calcium-looping conditions for thermochemical energy storage of concentrated solar power. Energy Fuel 31(4):4226–4236. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Valverde JM, Miranda-Pizarro J, Perejón A, Sánchez-Jiménez PE, Pérez-Maqueda LA (2017b) Calcium-looping performance of steel and blast furnace slags for thermochemical energy storage in concentrated solar power plants. J CO2 Util 22(Supplement C):143–154. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de FisicaUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain

Personalised recommendations