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An investigation into the Development of Ceramic Sorbents for High Temperature Air Separation for OxyFiring Open Access


Other title
Oxyfuel Combustion
CuO-based Oxygen Carrier
High Temperature Air Separation
Ceramic Sorbents
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Mohammad Ali Pour, Mehdi
Supervisor and department
Nychka, John A. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Gupta, Rajender (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Hayes, Robert E. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Kuznicki, Steven M. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Materials Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Oxyfuel combustion as one of the alternatives to post-combustion carbon capture technologies requires an economically viable oxygen supply system. Cryogenic air separation, the main currently available technology, consumes above 30% of the energy produced as it involves separation of nitrogen from the oxygen in the inlet air stream. High temperature air separation is a promising technology for the purpose of oxygen production in oxyfuel combustion Non-stoichiometric perovskite sorbents developed for use in high temperature air separation suffer from shortcomings that can affect their large scale development . Development of alternatives to perovskite oxides as sorbents for high temperature air separation has been studied in this dissertation. Perovskite/spinel oxide has been considered as the first option for comparison of the properties as an oxygen sorbent to those of the traditional perovskites. Copper oxide has been chosen as the second and main alternative to nonstoichiometric oxides. Despite numerous advantages, copper oxide has its own shortcomings for use as a high temperature oxygen sorbent. Effect of synthesis method has been studied as the first approach for improving shortcomings of current sorbents - the most important of which is to increase the oxygen desorption rate. The citrate gel method has been shown to be the most effective ceramic synthesis method in this case by the positive effects that it has on surface chemistry of copper oxide as an oxygen sorbent. Doping with alumina has been chosen to improve the properties through the chemistry of reactions occurring between CuO, CuAl2O4, CuAlO2 and Cu2O during oxygen absorption and desorption. Addition of alumina up to 30% has been shown to improve desorption kinetics without significantly affecting the absorption kinetics. High temperature stability is the other property that has been improved by addition of alumina. Zirconia and its derivatives doped with yttria and ceria were explored as support materials for copper oxide. Yttria stabilized zirconia was shown to have positive effects on oxygen desorption kinetics, high temperature stability and attrition resistance of the sorbents.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Mehdi Alipour, John A. Nychka, and Rajender Gupta, ""Evaluation of Copper−Aluminum Oxides as Sorbents for High-Temperature Air Separation", Energy Fuels 2014, 28(1), pp 319−328Mehdi Alipour, Rajender Gupta, John Nychka, “Effect of Yttrium Addition on ZrO2-CuO Oxygen Sorptive/Desorptive Properties”, Clearwater Clean Coal Conference, Clearwater, FL, June 2012Mehdi Alipour, Rajender Gupta, John Nychka, “Dual Phase Sorbents for Air Separation”, International Conference on Clean Coal Science and Technology, Harbin, China, October 2011

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