Matching Items (3)

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Atomic-level analysis of oxygen exchange reactions on ceria-based catalysts

Description

Non-stoichiometric oxides play a critical role in many catalytic, energy, and sensing technologies, providing the ability to reversibly exchange oxygen with the ambient environment through the creation and annihilation of

Non-stoichiometric oxides play a critical role in many catalytic, energy, and sensing technologies, providing the ability to reversibly exchange oxygen with the ambient environment through the creation and annihilation of surface oxygen vacancies. Oxygen exchange at the surfaces of these materials is strongly influenced by atomic structure, which varies significantly across nanoparticle surfaces. The studies presented herein elucidate the relationship between surface structure behaviors and oxygen exchange reactions on ceria (CeO2) catalyst materials. In situ aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (AC-TEM) techniques were developed and employed to correlate dynamic atomic-level structural heterogeneities to local oxygen vacancy activity.

A model Ni/CeO2 catalyst was used to probe the role of a ceria support during hydrocarbon reforming reactions, and it was revealed that carbon formation was inhibited on Ni metal nanoparticles due to the removal of lattice oxygen from the ceria support and subsequent oxidation of adsorbed decomposed hydrocarbon products. Atomic resolution observations of surface oxygen vacancy creation and annihilation were performed on CeO2 nanoparticle surfaces using a novel time-resolved in situ AC-TEM approach. Cation displacements were found to be related to oxygen vacancy creation and annihilation, and the most reactive surface oxygen sites were identified by monitoring the frequency of cation displacements. In addition, the dynamic evolution of CeO2 surface structures was characterized with high temporal resolution AC-TEM imaging, which resulted in atomic column positions and occupancies to be determined with a combination of spatial precision and temporal resolution that had not previously been achieved. As a result, local lattice expansions and contractions were observed on ceria surfaces, which were likely related to cyclic oxygen vacancy activity. Finally, local strain fields on CeO2 surfaces were quantified, and it was determined that local strain enhanced the ability of a surface site to create oxygen vacancies. Through the characterization of dynamic surface structures with advanced AC-TEM techniques, an improvement in the fundamental understanding of how ceria surfaces influence and control oxygen exchange reactions was obtained.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Correlating nanoscale grain boundary composition with electrical conductivity in ceria

Description

Because of their favorable ionic and/or electronic conductivity, non-stoichiometric oxides are utilized for energy storage, energy conversion, sensing, catalysis, gas separation, and information technologies, both potential and commercialized. Charge transport

Because of their favorable ionic and/or electronic conductivity, non-stoichiometric oxides are utilized for energy storage, energy conversion, sensing, catalysis, gas separation, and information technologies, both potential and commercialized. Charge transport in these materials is influenced strongly by grain boundaries, which exhibit fluctuations in composition, chemistry and atomic structure within Ångstroms or nanometers. Here, studies are presented that elucidate the interplay between macroscopic electrical conductivity, microscopic character, and local composition and electronic structure of grain boundaries in polycrystalline ceria-based (CeO2) solid solutions. AC impedance spectroscopy is employed to measure macroscopic electrical conductivity of grain boundaries, and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) in the aberration-correction scanning transmission electron microscope (AC-STEM) is used to quantify local composition and electronic structure. Electron diffraction orientation imaging microscopy is employed to assess microscopic grain boundary character, and links these macro- and nanoscopic techniques across length scales.

A model system, CaxCe1-xO2-x-δ, is used to systematically investigate relationships between nominal Ca2+ concentration, grain boundary ionic conductivity, microscale character, and local solute concentration. Grain boundary conductivity varied by several orders of magnitude over the composition range, and assessment of grain boundary character highlighted the critical influence of local composition on conductivity. Ceria containing Gd3+ and Pr3+/4+ was also investigated following previous theoretical work predicting superior ionic conductivity relative to state-of-the-art GdxCe1-xO2-x/2-δ. The grain boundary conductivity was nearly 100 times greater than expected and a factor four enrichment of Pr concentration was observed at the grain boundary, which suggested electronic conduction that was cited as the origin of the enhanced conductivity. This finding inspired the development of two EELS-based experimental approaches to elucidate the effect of Pr enrichment on grain boundary conductivity. One employed ultra-high energy resolution (~10 meV) monochromated EELS to characterize Pr inter-bandgap electronic states. Alternatively, STEM nanodiffraction orientation imaging coupled with AC-STEM EELS was employed to estimate the composition of the entire grain boundary population in a polycrystalline material. These compositional data were the input to a thermodynamic model used to predict electrical properties of the grain boundary population. These results suggest improved DC ionic conduction and enhanced electronic conduction under AC conditions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Design and Evaluation of a Concentrating Solar Power System with Thermochemical Water Splitting Process for the Co-production of Hydrogen and Electricity

Description

Thermodynamic development and balance of plant study is completed for a 30 MW solar thermochemical water splitting process that generates hydrogen gas and electric power. The generalized thermodynamic model includes

Thermodynamic development and balance of plant study is completed for a 30 MW solar thermochemical water splitting process that generates hydrogen gas and electric power. The generalized thermodynamic model includes 23 components and 45 states. Quasi-steady state simulations are completed for design point system sizing, annual performance analysis and sensitivity analysis. Detailed consideration is given to water splitting reaction kinetics with governing equations generalized for use with any redox-active metal oxide material. Specific results for Ceria illustrate particle reduction in two solar receivers for target oxygen partial pressure of 10 Pa and particle temperature of 1773 K at a design point DNI of 900 W/m2. Sizes of the recuperator, steam generator and hydrogen separator are calculated at the design point DNI to achieve 100,000 kg of hydrogen production per day from the plant. The total system efficiency of 39.52% is comprised of 50.7% hydrogen fraction and 19.62% electrical fraction. Total plant capital costs and operating costs are estimated to equate a hydrogen production cost of $4.40 per kg for a 25-year plant life. Sensitivity analysis explores the effect of environmental parameters and design parameters on system performance and cost. Improving recuperator effectiveness from 0.7 to 0.8 is a high-value design modification resulting in a 12.1% decrease in hydrogen cost for a modest 2.0% increase in plant $2.85M. At the same time, system efficiency is relatively inelastic to recuperator effectiveness because 81% of excess heat is recovered from the system for electricity production 39 MWh/day and revenue is $0.04 per kWh. Increasing water inlet pressure up to 20 bar reduces the size and cost of super heaters but further pressure rises increasing pump at a rate that outweighs super heater cost savings.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018