Chemical looping combustion (CLC) is an innovative technology for heat production with inherent capture of carbon dioxide at minimal energy penalty. Its development is highly relevant since it addresses CO2 capture needed for closing the carbon loop as a contribution to mitigating climate change, one of the big challenges of today's society.
In CLC, oxygen is transferred from an air reactor to a fuel reactor by means of a solid oxygen carrier. Thus avoiding direct contact between air and fuel, and after condensation of water, an undiluted CO2 exhaust stream is obtained. CO2 is more and more considered as a valuable chemical substance for enhanced oil/gas recovery projects as well as for the production of chemicals, polymers or building materials. It can potentially be an option for several types EOR namely were miscible gases for injection are needed, for steam EOR and for CO2 EOR.
Strategic to CLC technology is the oxygen carrier that is in the heart of the process. Parameters such as particle size and distribution, density, porosity, strength, attrition resistance, reactivity, environmental aspects and cost, define the performance of the oxygen carrier. The first generation oxygen carriers were Ni-based. However, due to cost of nickel and toxicity, a search for Ni-free oxygen carriers was conducted with similar or superior performance in CLC. This has lead to the development of Mn-based oxygen carriers, that demonstrate the beneficial oxygen uncoupling effect, with complete fuel conversion as a result. In the EC 7FP project SUCCESS, a promising oxygen carrier based on perovskite calcium- manganite with good fluidisability, high sphericity and high attrition resistance, was upscaled to the industrial scale. In this contribution results are presented obtained with oxygen carriers that have been produced by the versatile and industrial scalable spray-drying technique. Results are discussed that have for the first time been obtained with an upscaled process. The oxygen carriers were fabricated with the industrial spray drying process for multi-tonne scale production in order to accommodate for chemical looping plants of 10 MW and larger.