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Research

Ceria Redox Reactors

We have recently begun research into Thermochemical Fuel Cycles, with a particular emphasis on the Ceria Redox Cycle.

This work brings together many of the challenges facing the implementation of redox reactors as an alternative fuel source.

We have carried out an analytical study of CeO2 oxidation and reduction. The reaction kinetics and activation energies of both processes were examined, and the results were used to guide optimum reactor design.

The thermodynamics of the process was studied in great detail, as a function of the key operating parameters (temperature, operating pressure and partial oxygen pressure). The effects of these factors on cycle efficiency was calculated, resulting in useful guidelines for future designs.

Experimental studies were carried out using a custom-designed chamber with a high-intensity focussed xenon arc lamp and a mass spectrometer to measure partial pressures. The oxidation and reduction kinetics were examined across a range of operating conditions and the effect of dopants on the activation energies was also examined.

Schematic of Redox Reactor Geometry used for Finite Element Modelling.

Selected Publications

  • Title:
    • An analytical model of CeO2 oxidation and reduction
  • Authors:
    • Brendan Bulfin, Arran J. Lowe, Kevin A. Keogh, Barry E. Murphy, Olaf Lübben, Sergey A. Krasnikov, and Igor V. Shvets
  • Source:
    • Journal of Physical Chemistry C 46 (2013) 24129-24137
  • Title:
    • Finite element method simulations of heat flow in fixed bed solar water splitting redox reactors
  • Authors:
    • Brendan Bulfin, Barry E. Murphy, Olaf Lübben, Sergey A. Krasnikov, and Igor V. Shvets<
  • Source:
    • International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 37(13) (2012) 10028-10035