This paper describes the results of experiments in which the WGS reaction was conducted in the presence of a CaO-containing sorbent. A major limitation of such a scheme is the degradation of the conversion of the CaO over progressive cycles of carbonation and calcination, particularly with natural sorbents, such as limestone. In our experiments, the sorbent employed was a synthetic one, namely calcium magnesium acetate (CMA, Ca : Mg = 7 : 3, molar basis), the performance of which did not degrade substantially with cycling. The enhanced WGS reaction was conducted at temperatures of 500, 550, 600 and 650°C, with calcination at 800°C, in a packed bed. The gases fed to the reactor were obtained from cylinders (in the cases of CO and inert N2) and steam was generated from deionised water.
From the experiments performed, it was shown that CaO-containing sorbents can affect the WGS in two ways: (i) by catalysis of the reaction itself and (ii) by altering the equilibrium position through abstraction of CO2 from the gas phase. It was found that a trade-off has to be made between the production of H2 and the contamination of the product gas with CO2 (the CO2 slip). For the WGS performed at 600°C, equilibrium conditions were reached while at the lowest experimental temperature of 500°C, there was very little CO2 slip.
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