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Computationally Accelerated Discovery and Experimental Demonstration of Gd0.5La0.5Co0.5Fe0.5O3 for Solar Thermochemical Hydrogen Production

Frontiers in Energy Research

Park, James E.; Bare, Zachary J.L.; Morelock, Ryan J.; Rodriguez, Mark A.; Ambrosini, Andrea A.; Musgrave, Charles B.; McDaniel, Anthony H.; Coker, Eric N.

Solar thermochemical hydrogen (STCH) production is a promising method to generate carbon neutral fuels by splitting water utilizing metal oxide materials and concentrated solar energy. The discovery of materials with enhanced water-splitting performance is critical for STCH to play a major role in the emerging renewable energy portfolio. While perovskite materials have been the focus of many recent efforts, materials screening can be time consuming due to the myriad chemical compositions possible. This can be greatly accelerated through computationally screening materials parameters including oxygen vacancy formation energy, phase stability, and electron effective mass. In this work, the perovskite Gd0.5La0.5Co0.5Fe0.5O3 (GLCF), was computationally determined to be a potential water splitter, and its activity was experimentally demonstrated. During water splitting tests with a thermal reduction temperature of 1,350°C, hydrogen yields of 101 μmol/g and 141 μmol/g were obtained at re-oxidation temperatures of 850 and 1,000°C, respectively, with increasing production observed during subsequent cycles. This is a significant improvement from similar compounds studied before (La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3 and LaFe0.75Co0.25O3) that suffer from performance degradation with subsequent cycles. Confirmed with high temperature x-ray diffraction (HT-XRD) patterns under inert and oxidizing atmosphere, the GLCF mainly maintained its phase while some decomposition to Gd2-xLaxO3 was observed.

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Air separation via a two-step solar thermochemical cycle based on (Ba,La)xSr1-xFeO3-δ: Thermodynamic analysis

Solid State Ionics

Bush, Hagan E.; Nguyen, Nhu P.; Farr, Tyler; Loutzenhiser, Peter G.; Ambrosini, Andrea A.

A two-step solar thermochemical cycle was considered for air separation to produce N2 based on (Ba,La)xSr1-xFeO3-δ perovskite reduction/oxidation (redox) reactions for A-site fractions of 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.2. The cycle steps encompassed (1) thermal reduction and O2 release via concentrated solar input and (2) re-oxidation with air to uptake O2 and produce high-purity N2. Thermogravimetry at temperatures between 400 and 1100 °C in atmospheres of 0.005 to 90% O2/Ar at 1 bar was performed to measure equilibrium nonstoichiometries. The compound energy formalism was applied to model redox thermodynamics for both Ba2+ and La3+ substitution. Non-linear regression was used to determine the empirical parameters based on the thermogravimetric measurements. The model was used to define partial molar reaction enthalpies and entropies and predicted equilibrium oxygen nonstoichiometry as functions of oxide stoichiometry, site fraction, temperature, and O2 partial pressure. The thermodynamic analysis showed the materials are appealing for air separation at temperatures below 800 °C.

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Solar-Thermal Ammonia Production: System Design and Technoeconomic Analysis [Slides]

de la Calle, Alberto d.; Bush, Hagan E.; Ermanoski, Ivan E.; Ambrosini, Andrea A.; Stechel, Ellen B.

CO2-neutral ammonia production with concentrated solar technology is theoretically possible based on advanced solar thermochemical looping technology. The parametric analysis points to the re-oxidation temperature and the H3 yield as the most influential parameters in the energy balance. The cycle time and the nitride cost are the most influential parameters on the CAPEX. The techno-economics analysis shows the potential of the plant to achieve a target price <125 $\$$/tonne.

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Metal nitride materials for solar-thermal ammonia production [Slides]

Ambrosini, Andrea A.; Bush, Hagan E.; Gao, Xiang G.; Berquist, Zachary B.; Anbar, Nathaniel A.; Stechel, Ellen B.; Miller, James A.

Solar Thermal Ammonia Production has the potential to synthesize ammonia in a green, renewable process that can greatly reduce the carbon footprint left by the conventional Haber-Bosch reaction. Co3Mo3N has been identified as a potential candidate for ammonia production. It is synthesized via oxide precursor synthesis followed by nitridation under 10% H2/N2. The synthesis method can be extended to other candidate nitrides. The Co3Mo3N → Co6Mo6N reduction is demonstrated on TGA with rapid kinetics. The formation of NH3 is qualitatively observed, but not quantitatively determined. The material retains crystal structure, but no secondary phases are observed in XRD. Partial re-nitridation back to CMN331 of ~35% of max nitridation is observed. Reaction parameters in TGA differ from experimental conditions in the literature. Experiments at Georgia Tech better mimic re-nitridation conditions with more sensitive, quantitative analytical techniques (GC-MS). The ASU NH3 synthesis/re-nitridation reactor is under development and will permit experiments (reduction/re-nitridation) under precisely controlled T, pH2.

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Compositional and operational impacts on the thermochemical reduction of CO2to CO by iron oxide/yttria-stabilized zirconia

RSC Advances

Coker, Eric N.; Ambrosini, Andrea A.; Miller, James E.

Ferrites have potential for use as active materials in solar-thermochemical cycles because of their versatile redox chemistry. Such cycles utilize solar-thermal energy for the production of hydrogen from water and carbon monoxide from carbon dioxide. Although ferrites offer the potential for deep levels of reduction (e.g., stoichiometric conversion of magnetite to wüstite) and correspondingly large per-cycle product yields, in practice reactions are limited to surface regions made smaller by rapid sintering and agglomeration. Combining ferrites with zirconia or yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) greatly improves the cyclability of the ferrites and enables a move away from powder to monolithic systems. We have studied the behavior of iron oxides composited with YSZ using thermogravimetric analysis under operando conditions. Samples in which the iron was fully dissolved within the YSZ matrix showed greater overall extent of thermochemical redox and higher rate of reaction than samples with equal iron loading but in which the iron was only partially dissolved, with the rest existing as agglomerates of iron oxide within the ceramic matrix. Varying the yttria content of the YSZ revealed a maximum thermochemical capacity (yield per cycle) for 6 mol% Y2O3 in YSZ. The first thermochemical redox cycle performed for each sample resulted in a net mass loss that was proportional to the iron oxide loading in the material and was stoichiometrically consistent with complete reduction of Fe2O3 to Fe3O4 and further partial reduction of the Fe3O4 to FeO. Mass gains upon reaction with CO2 were consistent with re-oxidation of the FeO fraction back to Fe3O4. The Fe dissolved in the YSZ matrix, however, is capable of cycling stoichiometrically between Fe3+ and Fe2+. Varying the re-oxidation temperature between 1000 and 1200 °C highlighted the trade-off between re-oxidation rate and equilibrium limitations. This journal is

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An a-and b-site substitutional study of srfeo3−δ perovskites for solar thermochemical air separation


Farr, Tyler P.; Nguyen, Nhu P.; Bush, Hagan E.; Ambrosini, Andrea A.; Loutzenhiser, Peter G.

An A-and B-site substitutional study of SrFeO3−δ perovskites (A’x A1−x B’y B1−y O3−δ, where A = Sr and B = Fe) was performed for a two-step solar thermochemical air separation cycle. The cycle steps encompass (1) the thermal reduction of A’x Sr1−x B’y Fe1−y O3−δ driven by concentrated solar irradiation and (2) the oxidation of A’x Sr1−x B’y Fe1−y O3−δ in air to remove O2, leaving N2 . The oxidized A’x Sr1−x B’y Fe1−y O3−δ is recycled back to the first step to complete the cycle, resulting in the separation of N2 from air and concentrated solar irradiation. A-site substitution fractions between 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.2 were examined for A’ = Ba, Ca, and La. B-site substitution fractions between 0 ≤ y ≤ 0.2 were examined for B’ = Cr, Cu, Co, and Mn. Samples were prepared with a modified Pechini method and characterized with X-ray diffractometry. The mass changes and deviations from stoichiometry were evaluated with thermogravimetry in three screenings with temperature-and O2 pressure-swings between 573 and 1473 K and 20% O2 /Ar and 100% Ar at 1 bar, respectively. A’ = Ba or La and B’ = Co resulted in the most improved redox capacities amongst temperature-and O2 pressure-swing experiments.

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Results 1–25 of 127
Results 1–25 of 127