Processes are disclosure which comprise alternately contacting an oxygen-carrying catalyst with a reducing substance, or a lower partial pressure of an oxidizing gas, and then with the oxidizing gas or a higher partial pressure of the oxidizing gas, whereby the catalyst is alternately reduced and then regenerated to an oxygenated state. In certain embodiments, the oxygen-carrying catalyst comprises at least one metal oxide-containing material containing a composition having the following formulas: (a) Ce.sub.xB.sub.yB'.sub.zB''O.sub..delta., wherein B=Ba, Sr, Ca, or Zr; B'=Mn, Co, and/or Fe; B''=Cu; 0.01<x<0.99; 0<y<0.6; 0<z<0.5; (b) Ce.sub.1-x-yNi.sub.xB.sub.yO.sub.2-*, wherein B=Zr, Ba, Ca, La, or K; 0.02<x<0.1; 0<y<0.1; and 0.02<*<0.15; and 1<.delta.<2.2 and (c) coal ash either as a catalyst material itself or as a support for said unary or binary metal oxides.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Contracts No. DE-FG02-05ER84200 and DE-FG02-04ER83936 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and Contract No. NNC06CA53C awarded by NASA.