Pathways for improving the efficiency of ceria-based thermochemical cycling for solar-driven fuel production are investigated. First, the operating conditions of an isothermal CO<sub>2</sub> splitting cycle are optimized to improve process efficiency. The optimum conditions are a sweep gas flow rate of 150 mL min<super>-1</super> g<super>-1</super>, a CO<sub>2</sub> flow rate of 50 mL min<super>-1</super> g<super>-1</super>, a reduction time of 100 s, and an oxidation time of 155 s. A quasi-equilibrium model is developed to predict the rates of ceria reduction and oxidation. Finally, a new ceria morphology, wood templated ceria, is used to improve the heterogeneous oxidation reaction rates by maintaining a high surface area when exposed to the extreme temperatures required for ceria reduction. Wood templated ceria performs well at reduction temperatures up to 1400 °C, reaching peak CO production rates of 9 mL min<super>-1</super> g<super>-1</super>, but rates decrease due to sintering when it is reduced at 1500 °C.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. May 2014. Major:Mechanical Engineering. Advisor: Dr. Jane H. Davidson. 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 129 pages, appendices A-B.
De Smith, Robert Michael.
Improving the efficiency of a ceria reduction-oxidation cycle through the choice of operating conditions and ceria morphology.
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