Chemical looping combustion (CLC) is a novel combustion technology with the capability for segregation of exhaust products (i.e., carbon dioxide/H2O or N2/O2). The combustion is performed in two interconnected reactors with a solid oxygen carrier circulating between them, transferring oxygen from the air to the fuel. The feasibility of a successful CLC system depends on the selection of an appropriate oxygen carrier. Cu-based oxygen carriers are good oxygen carriers due to high reactivity. However, it faces low melting point, agglomeration problems in fluidized bed. In this study, a circular reduction–oxidation reaction simulated to the cyclic operation of the Cu-based oxygen carrier was conducted on the thermogravimetric analyzer (TG). The thermal behaviors of the potential Cu-based oxygen carrier were investigated by using an X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and surface analyzer. Multiple TG results show that the weight loss was 3.4%, indicating that the loading CuO amount was 17%. Moreover, the weight loss and weight gain was equal during 73 redox cycles, suggesting the good thermal stability of the oxygen carrier. The conversion rate of reduction and oxidation for each redox cycle remained constant even after 73 redox cycles. XRD results show the new phase formation of CuAl2O4 during redox cycles, which promotes the thermal stabilization of the oxygen carrier. The surface area of the oxygen carrier decreased from 105 to 13 m2 g−1 after 73 redox cycles and the particle size distribution shifted from 5–15 nm to 15–30 nm, suggesting that the micorpores were blocked or collapsed. However, the reactivity of the oxygen carrier didn't decrease. SEM results show that CuO was evenly distributed on the surface of Al2O3 after 73 redox cycles. Overall, these results suggested that the Cu-based oxygen carrier was ready for fluidized bed tests.
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