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Pressure Effect on the Multicycle Activity of Natural Carbonates and a Ca/Zr Composite for Energy Storage of Concentrated Solar Power

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journal contribution
posted on 17.04.2018, 00:00 by Beatriz Sarrion, Pedro E. Sanchez-Jimenez, Antonio Perejon, Luis A. Perez-Maqueda, Jose Manuel Valverde
This work is focused on the use of the Calcium-Looping process (CaL) in Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants for Thermochemical Energy Storage (TCES). Cheap, abundant and nontoxic natural carbonate minerals, such as limestone and dolomite, can be employed in this application to store energy through the cyclic calcination/carbonation of CaCO3. In a recent work, a closed CO2 cycle has been proposed for an efficient CaL-CSP integration in which the CO2 in excess effluent from the carbonator is used to generate electricity by means of a gas turbine. Process simulations show that the thermoelectric efficiency is enhanced as the carbonator pressure and temperature are increased provided that the multicycle CaO conversion is not affected. On the other hand, the use of just one reactor for both calcination and carbonation has been suggested to reduce capital cost. However, the experimental results shown in the present work indicate that sintering is notably enhanced as the pressure in the reactor is increased. Such an adverse effect is mitigated for a ZrO2/CaCO3 composite with a low Zr content as compared to natural carbonates. These results are relevant to process simulations for better assessing the global efficiency of the CaL-CSP integration.