Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Oxygen Carriers for Solid Fuel Chemical Looping Combustion Process

Regenerable Mixed Copper-Iron-Inert Support Oxygen Carriers

National Energy Technology Laboratory

Contact NETL About This Technology

Technology Marketing Summary
This patent-pending technology, “Regenerable Mixed Copper-Iron-Inert Support Oxygen Carriers for Solid Fuel Chemical
Looping Combustion Process,” provides a metal-oxide oxygen carrier for application in fuel combustion processes that use oxygen.

Researchers have extensively studied the use of metal-oxide oxygen carriers for the delivery of oxygen via reduction of the oxygen carrier during the application of chemical looping combustion. These combustion systems, which produce a concentrated stream of CO2, potentially have significant advantages over, for example, combustion with air that requires expensive CO2 separation technologies prior to CO2 sequestration.

Despite certain advantages, success has been limited due to insufficient durability and reactivity of the metal-oxide oxygen carriers. To address the above issues, copper (Cu)-based oxygen carriers have been extensively studied for the combustion of both gaseous and solid fuels. Although Cu-based carriers demonstrate a high reactivity for fuel combustion in chemical looping combustion systems, their relatively low melting point has generated severe agglomeration problems at higher temperatures. As a result, researchers have also evaluated Fe2O3 as an oxygen carrier. Although this carrier has improved temperature stability versus CuO, its reactivity is significantly limited.

This patent-pending technology addresses the above issues by providing for an oxygen carrier that demonstrates improved durability and reactivity versus metal oxides currently used in the chemical looping combustion of fuels. The carrier is composed of a combination of metal oxides offering increased reactivity per unit weight and enhanced physical durability and reactivity during multiple cycling combustion-regeneration reactions. The carrier is an optimum combination of CuO and Fe2 O3 on an inert support that is reactive with fuels and provides excellent efficiency and combustion rates at relatively low temperatures.


Provides an oxygen carrier with an optimum combination of CuO and Fe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>

  • Uses include chemical looping combustion of solid/gaseous fuels
  • Improves durability and reactivity over metal oxides
  • Mitigates agglomeration problems
Applications and Industries

Any application involving chemical looping combustion of solid fuels

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 9,523,499
Regenerable mixed copper-iron-inert support oxygen carriers for solid fuel chemical looping combustion process
The disclosure provides an oxygen carrier for a chemical looping cycle, such as the chemical looping combustion of solid carbonaceous fuels, such as coal, coke, coal and biomass char, and the like. The oxygen carrier is comprised of at least 24 weight % (wt %) CuO, at least 10 wt % Fe2O3, and an inert support, and is typically a calcine. The oxygen carrier exhibits a CuO crystalline structure and an absence of iron oxide crystalline structures under XRD crystallography, and provides an improved and sustained combustion reactivity in the temperature range of C. particularly for solid fuels such as carbon and coal.
National Energy Technology Laboratory 12/20/2016
Technology Status
Development StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

Contact NETL About This Technology

To: Jessica Lamp<> <>