Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Clement Tang

Second Advisor

Michael Mann


This project targets the development of a technology for segregating fuel-based contaminants (char/carbon) from oxygen carrier material in the context of chemical looping combustion applications. In chemical looping, the well-mixed solids that flow from the fuel reactor consisting of char, ash, and oxygen carrier particles cannot be completely separated into their constituents before they enter the air reactor. The slip of carbon leads to char oxidation in the wrong reactor and poor carbon dioxide separation efficiency. The buildup of ash that is not rejected necessitates rejection of larger quantities of oxygen carrier material, resulting in a high operating cost penalty. An efficient method to separate char from oxygen carrier material is critical for the deployment of chemical looping technology.

This project developed a novel method for char separation from oxygen carrier that is specifically tailored to chemical looping combustion and its unique constraints and process conditions. The segregation system consists of a novel combination of methodologies that together provide very high segregation efficiency, even under the extreme conditions of chemical looping systems. Following the successful demonstration in Phase I at the lab-scale, this Phase II project involved a significant scale-up. The components in the novel segregation system were optimized through parametric evaluation of several process conditions. Design emphasis was on reducing equipment size and energy input. There is a target of 80% removal of char in the exit stream of oxygen carrier. Due to the scale of the project, tests were completed under cold flow conditions, meaning room temperature.