Near-Isothermal Doped-Hercynite Redox Cycle for Solar-Thermal Water Splitting

Wednesday, 27 May 2015: 08:40
Conference Room 4D (Hilton Chicago)
C. Muhich, B. Ehrhart, I. Alshankiti, B. Ward, C. Musgrave, and A. Weimer (University of Colorado)
Hydrogen productivity exceeding 350 micromoles H2/g total redox material has been demonstrated for near-isothermal processing using the doped-hercynite cycle for oxidation with steam carried out at 1350oC following 1500oC reduction.  This temperature difference driving the redox is quite narrow compared to standard 500oC temperature swing (T-swing) redox processing.   Such near-isothermal processing substantially reduces the difficult solid/solid heat recuperation, the energy required to heat back up to reduction temperatures following oxidation and the thermal stresses associated with heating/cooling active materials associated with standard T-swing redox cycling.  Evidence is provided indicating that the cycle occurs via an oxygen-vacancy formation process.  Efficiency analysis identifies isothermal processing with perfect steam/steam heat exchange as providing for the highest theoretically possible efficiency.  Although it may be impossible to operate isothermally with perfect gas/gas heat exchange in practice, it does provide for an optimal “stretch” target to aim for.   Near-isothermal operation seems achievable in practice and may provide for the most realistic efficient mode of operation.