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Novel Bimetallic Oxygen Carriers for Use in Chemical Looping Combustion

Date Posted
USPN 9,557,053; USPN 10,030,204


Research is currently active on the technology titled, "Metal Ferrite Oxygen Carriers for Chemical Looping Combustion of Solid Fuels." This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.


Chemical looping combustion (CLC) is a promising technology for coal-derived energy production. CLC offers a major advantage over conventional coal combustion by directly producing  a concentrated stream of CO2 without expending the significant energy required for CO2 separation. The development of robust oxygen carriers is critical for the efficient operation and adoption of CLC technology.

Traditional oxygen carriers such as CuO, Fe2O3, NiO, and CoO have disadvantages including low reactivity (Fe2O3), low melting point and high agglomeration (CuO), and health and environmental concerns (NiO). The development of new oxygen carriers with enhanced performance characteristics is required for successful deployment of coal CLC processes.

This invention describes the use of novel bimetallic oxygen carriers consisting of group II metal ferrites (MgFe2O4, CaFe2O4, SrFe2O4, and BaFe2O4) and transition metal ferrites (MnFeO3 and CoFe2O4) for CLC of solid fuels such as coal, pet coke, and biomass. All the metal ferrites demonstrated better performance for coal CLC when compared to Fe2O3, including high and stable reactivity over multiple reduction/oxidation cycles as well as high attrition resistance. Further, the ferrite-based oxygen carriers displayed a low tendency to agglomerate at high temperatures. The metal ferrites can be produced using readily available materials at a cost comparable to Fe2O3 oxygen carriers.

  • Improved reduction/oxidation rates compared to Fe2O3
  • Stable at high temperatures and over multiple oxidation-reduction cycles
  • Metal ferrites can be produced using readily available materials at comparable cost to standard oxygen carriers
  • Carriers are environmentally benign
  • Chemical looping combustion of coal
  • Chemical looping gasification of coal to produce synthesis gas
  • Combustion/gasification processes using biomass, pet coke, and other solid fuels

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