High-Throughput Analysis of Materials for Chemical Looping Processes

Chemical looping is a promising approach for improving the energy efficiency of many industrial chemical processes. However, a major limitation of modern chemical looping technologies is the lack of suitable active materials to mediate the involved subreactions. Identification of suitable materials has been historically limited by the scarcity of high-temperature (> 600 °C) thermochemical data to evaluate candidate materials. An accurate thermodynamic approach is demonstrated here to rapidly identify active materials which is applicable to a wide variety of chemical looping chemistries. Application of this analysis to chemical looping combustion correctly classifies 17/17 experimentally studied redox materials by their viability and identifies over 1,300 promising yet previously unstudied active materials. This approach is further demonstrated by analyzing redox pairs for mediating a novel chemical looping process for producing pure SO2 from raw sulfur and air which could provide a more efficient and lower emission route to sulfuric acid. 12 promising redox materials for this process are identified, two of which are supported by previous experimental studies of their individual oxidation and reduction reactions. This approach provides the necessary foundation for connecting process design with high-throughput materials discovery to accelerate the innovation and development of a wide-range of chemical looping technologies.