Loop-de-loop

An oxygen carrier put in contact with natural gas, methane, boost the combustion efficiency and conversion rate by seventy-fold according to chemical engineers at North Carolina State University. Team leader Fanxing Li suggests that this process of looping can also easily capture the released stream of carbon dioxide for sequestration as an environmentally beneficial side effect. Inert ceramics and metal oxides were used previously in looping, but Li and his colleagues have turned to a mixed iron-based oxygen carrier in a perovskite-based mixed conductive support such as lanthanum strontium ferrite, which shuttles oxygen atoms more effectively. Improving this process hopefully moves us closer to commercial applications that use chemical looping, which would help us limit greenhouse gas emissions, Li says.