Thermogravimetric Analysis of Zirconia-Doped Ceria for Thermochemical Production of Solar Fuel


Developing an efficient redox material is crucial for thermochemical cycles that produce solar fuels (e.g. H2 and CO), enabling a sustainable energy supply. In this study, zirconia-doped cerium oxide (Ce1-xZrxO2) was tested in CO2-splitting cycles for the production of CO. The impact of the Zr-content on the splitting performance was investigated within the range 0 ≤ x < 0.4. The materials were synthesized via a citrate nitrate auto combustion route and subjected to thermogravimetric experiments. The results indicate that there is an optimal zirconium content, x = 0.15, improving the specific CO2-splitting performance by 50% compared to pure ceria. Significantly enhanced performance is observed for 0.15 ≤ x ≤ 0.225. Outside this range, the performance decreases to values of pure ceria. These results agree with theoretical studies attributing the improvements to lattice modification. Introducing Zr4+ into the fluorite structure of ceria compensates for the expansion of the crystal lattice caused by the reduction of Ce4+ to Ce3+. Regarding the reaction conditions, the most efficient composition Ce0.85Zr0.15O2 enhances the required conditions by a temperature of 60 K or one order of magnitude of the partial pressure of oxygen p(O2) compared to pure ceria. The optimal composition was tested in long-term experiments of one hundred cycles, which revealed declining splitting kinetics.

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F. Call, M. Roeb, M. Schmücker, H. Bru, D. Curulla-Ferre, C. Sattler and R. Pitz-Paal, "Thermogravimetric Analysis of Zirconia-Doped Ceria for Thermochemical Production of Solar Fuel," American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 4 No. 10A, 2013, pp. 37-45. doi: 10.4236/ajac.2013.410A1005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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