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Issue 28, 2013
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CO2 multicyclic capture of pretreated/doped CaO in the Ca-looping process. Theory and experiments

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We study in this paper the conversion of CaO-based CO2 sorbents when subjected to repeated carbonation–calcination cycles with a focus on thermally pretreated/doped sorbents. Analytical equations are derived to describe the evolution of conversion with the cycle number from a unifying model based on the balance between surface area loss due to sintering in the looping-calcination stage and surface area regeneration as a consequence of solid-state diffusion during the looping-carbonation stage. Multicyclic CaO conversion is governed by the evolution of surface area loss/regeneration that strongly depends on the initial state of the pore skeleton. In the case of thermally pretreated sorbents, the initial pore skeleton is highly sintered and regeneration is relevant, whereas for nonpretreated sorbents the initial pore skeleton is soft and regeneration is negligible. Experimental results are obtained for sorbents subjected to a preheating controlled rate thermal analysis (CRTA) program. By applying this preheating program in a CO2 enriched atmosphere, CaO can be subjected to a rapid carbonation followed by a slow rate controlled decarbonation, which yields a highly sintered skeleton displaying a small conversion in the first cycle and self-reactivation in the next ones. Conversely, carbonation of the sorbent at a slow controlled rate enhances CO2 solid-state diffusion, which gives rise, after a quick decarbonation, to a highly porous skeleton. In this case, CaO conversion in the first cycle is very large but it decays abruptly in subsequent cycles. Data for CaO conversion retrieved from the literature and from further experimental measurements performed in our work are analyzed as influenced by a variety of experimental variables such as preheating temperature program, preheating exposition time, atmosphere composition, presence of additives, and carbonation–calcination conditions. Conversion data are well fitted by the proposed model equations, which are of help for a quantitative interpretation of the effect of experimental conditions on the multicyclic sorbent performance as a function of sintering/regeneration parameters inferred from the fittings and allow foreseeing the critical conditions to promote reactivation. The peculiar behavior of some pretreated sorbents, showing a maximum conversion in a small number of cycles, is explained in light of the model.

Graphical abstract: CO2 multicyclic capture of pretreated/doped CaO in the Ca-looping process. Theory and experiments

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Article information

01 Feb 2013
13 May 2013
First published
17 May 2013

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 11775-11793
Article type

CO2 multicyclic capture of pretreated/doped CaO in the Ca-looping process. Theory and experiments

J. M. Valverde, P. E. Sanchez-Jimenez, A. Perejon and L. A. Perez-Maqueda, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 11775
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP50480H

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