Near 100% CO Selectivity in Nanoscaled Iron-Based Oxygen Carriers for Chemical Looping Methane Partial Oxidation

Yan LIU, Lang QIN, Zhuo CHENG, Josh W. GOETZE, Fanhe KONG, Jonathan A. FAN, Liang-Shih FAN

Jun 27, 2019

Received Date: 28th May 19

Chemical looping methane partial oxidation provides an energy and cost effective route for methane utilization. However, there is considerable CO2co-production in state-of-the-art chemical looping systems, rendering a decreased productivity in value-added fuels or chemicals.  In this work, we show that the co-production of CO2 can be dramatically suppressed in methane partial oxidation reactions using iron oxide nanoparticles, with a size of 53 nm, as the oxygen carrier.  To stabilize these nanoparticles at high temperatures, they are embedded in an ordered, gas-permeable mesoporous silica matrix.  We experimentally obtained near 100% CO selectivity in a cyclic redox system at 750°C to 935°C, which is a significantly lower temperature range than in conventional oxygen carrier systems.  Density functional theory calculations elucidate the origins for such selectivity and reveal that CH4 adsorption energies decrease with increasing nanoparticle size.  These calculations also show that low-coordinated lattice oxygen atoms on the surface of nanoparticles significantly promote Fe-O bond cleavage and CO formation. We envision that embedded nanostructured oxygen carriers have the potential to serve as a general materials platform for achieving 100% selectivity in redox reactions at high temperatures.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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