The Ca-looping process for CO2 capture and energy storage: role of nanoparticle technology
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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.
KeywordsCO2 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.
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