Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Nanak S. Grewal


This project developed an evaluation methodology for determining, accurately and rapidly, the attrition resistance of oxygen carrier materials used in chemical looping technologies. Existing test protocols, to evaluate attrition resistance of granular materials, are conducted under non-reactive and ambient temperature conditions. They do not accurately reflect the actual behavior under the unique process conditions of chemical looping, including high temperatures and cyclic operation between oxidizing and reducing atmospheres. This project developed a test method and equipment that represented a significant improvement over existing protocols.

Experimental results obtained from this project have shown that hematite exhibits different modes of attrition, including both due to mechanical stresses and due to structural changes in the particles due to chemical reaction at high temperature. The test methodology has also proven effective in providing reactivity changes of the material with continued use, a property, which in addition to attrition, determines material life. Consumption/replacement cost due to attrition or loss of reactivity is a critical factor in the economic application of the chemical looping technology.

This test method will allow rapid evaluation of a wide range of materials that are best suited for this this technology. The most important anticipated public benefit of this project is the acceleration of the development of chemical looping technology for lowering greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion.