Available Technology

Chemical Looping Air Separation Unit and Methods of Use

Research is currently active on the patent-pending technology "Chemical Looping Air Separation Unit and Methods of Use" that combines the best attributes of chemical looping and oxy-fuel combustion technologies. Following patent approval, the technology will be available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.
Patent Abstract: 
As fact-finding continues regarding global climate change, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has maintained its focus on a goal to achieve greater than 90 percent capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) with less than a 30 percent increase in the cost of electricity. The invention holds the promise to achieve or exceed that goal, producing reliable electricity while simultaneously reducing CO2emissions. To help achieve DOE’s goal, this invention combines two technologies, chemical looping and oxy-fuel combustion. However, several issues need to be addressed with each of the technologies. Problems with current chemical looping systems include a relatively low carbon conversion efficiency and process temperature restrictions, as well as oxygen carrier reactivity and lifetime. The major issues related with oxy-fuel combustion are the energy and cost requirements associated with oxygen production, which ultimately lead to a decrease in efficiency of a plant, as well as added capital costs. This patent-pending invention addresses the shortcomings of both technologies by offering a process that couples a chemical looping process that separates oxygen from air at a high efficiency with an oxy-fuel combustion process, thereby resulting in a highly concentrated stream of CO2and water. The water can then be condensed out while the CO2 stream can be stored by applying a variety of carbon sequestration methods. The end result is a high efficiency electrical power plant and simultaneous capture of CO2.
Combines chemical looping and oxy-fuel technologies -Separates oxygen from air at high efficiencies -Removes CO2for eventual storage -Can use any carbon-containing fuel
Justin M. Weber
Patent Number: 
U.S. Patent Pending
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