Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Clement Tang


This project involved the development of a technology for segregating fuel-based contaminants (char) from oxygen carrier material in the context of chemical looping combustion (CLC) application. In chemical looping, the well-mixed solids that flow from the fuel reactor consisting of char 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. An efficient method to separate char from oxygen carrier material is critical for the deployment of chemical looping technology. This segregation system consists of a novel combination of methodologies that together provide high separation efficiency under the extreme conditions of chemical looping systems.

Experimental results obtained from this project have shown that separation of char from varying particle size distributions of oxygen carrier (ilmenite) are achievable under both ambient and elevated temperatures (300-400℃). Tests show that separation efficiency is directly impacted by the average particle size of the oxygen carrier relative to char. Results suggest that as oxygen carrier particles undergo attrition due to cycling in a chemical looping combustion system, a higher oxygen carrier recycle (split) is necessary in order to maintain high separation.

The technology and test methods developed have demonstrated the ability to improve carbon capture rates within chemical looping combustions systems and will continue to undergo development with the goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion.