Research Papers

Reactive Pellets for Improved Solar Hydrogen Production Based on Sodium Manganese Ferrite Thermochemical Cycle

[+] Author and Article Information
Carlo Alvani, Mariangela Bellusci, Aurelio La Barbera, Franco Padella, Marzia Pentimalli, Luca Seralessandri

C. R. Casaccia, ENEA-Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment, Via Anguillarese 301, 00123 Rome, Italy

Francesca Varsano

C. R. Casaccia, ENEA-Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment, Via Anguillarese 301, 00123 Rome, Italyfrancesca.varsano@enea.it

J. Sol. Energy Eng 131(3), 031015 (Jul 14, 2009) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3142723 History: Received September 18, 2008; Revised February 12, 2009; Published July 14, 2009

Hydrogen production by water-splitting thermochemical cycle based on manganese ferrite/sodium carbonate reactive system is reported. Two different preparation procedures for manganese ferrite/sodium carbonate mixture were adopted and compared in terms of material capability to cyclical hydrogen production. According to the first procedure, conventionally synthesized manganese ferrite, i.e., high temperature (1250°C) heating in Ar of carbonate/oxide precursors, was mixed with sodium carbonate. The blend was tested inside a temperature programed desorption reactor using a cyclical hydrogen production/material regeneration scheme. After a few cycles, the mixture resulted rapidly passivated and unable to further produce hydrogen. An innovative method that avoids the high temperature synthesis of manganese ferrite is presented. This procedure consists in a set of consecutive thermal treatments of a manganese carbonate/sodium carbonate/iron oxide mixture in different environments (inert, oxidative, and reducing) at temperatures not exceeding 750°C. Such material, whose observed chemical composition consists of manganese ferrite and sodium carbonate in stoichiometric amounts, is able to evolve hydrogen during 25 consecutive water-splitting cycles, with a small decrease in cyclical production efficiency.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Scheme of the procedure utilized to prepare the active material

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Figure 2

Scheme of the cyclical hydrogen production/regeneration procedure

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Figure 3

Thermal analysis performed on metal oxide/carbonate mixture. Reaction environment is switched from Ar to Ar/H2O (after 80 min) to CO2 (after 160 min).

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Figure 4

XRD pattern of metal oxide/carbonate mixture after thermal treatment at 550°C in Ar

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Figure 5

XRD pattern of the prepared active material

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Figure 6

Hydrogen production rate measured during 1 h. T=750°C. Water concentration in Ar is 1.5% v/v.

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Figure 7

Amount of hydrogen produced by a conventional MnFe2O4/Na2CO3 mixture during the first and the second cycle

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Figure 8

Amount of hydrogen produced by the active material in the repeated water-splitting cycles according to the procedure described in Fig. 3

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Figure 9

XRD pattern of the active material after 60 hydrogen production cycles




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