442543 Hydrogen Fuel Production Using Reactive Metal Oxides in a Solar Thermal Water Splitting (STWS) Cycle

Monday, November 9, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Vanessa Witte1, Brian D. Ehrhart2, Barbara J. Ward3 and Alan W. Weimer3, (1)Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, (2)Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, (3)Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO

Solar thermal water splitting (STWS) can produce hydrogen renewably with no direct greenhouse gas emissions and high theoretical solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies. This system utilizes concentrated sunlight to cycle a metal oxide through a redox reaction to split water. At the high temperatures achieved by concentrated sunlight, the metal oxide is reduced and produces oxygen. The reduced material is then oxidized when exposed to steam and gains its original oxidation state while subsequently releasing hydrogen. The metal oxides studied are Hercynites, FeAl2O4, with variations of dopants and stabilizers. The preparation method being used is spray drying, which is a largely scalable and efficient method and is commonly used in industry. The particles are then characterized for size, surface area, composition, shape, and phase structure. The particles are cycled in a stagnation flow reactor to simulate the STWS reaction process and thus produce hydrogen. Experimental results show spray drying produces Hercynite particles that are small, spherical, and highly reactive and produce measurable quantities of Hydrogen gas.

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