The three-step Cu[sbnd]Cl cycle plant is expected to be ready for commercialization due to less steps, less equipment, and less challenges to process solid particles. In the proposed three-step Cu[sbnd]Cl cycle, the compact layout is composed of O2 production unit, CuCl electrolysis unit and H2 production unit, solid CuCl2 is treated as the feed of hydrolysis reactor, and aqueous CuCl2 from the CuCl electrolyzer is not directly recycled. Using specific kinetics of hydrolysis and chlorination reactions, a kinetic-based three-step Cu[sbnd]Cl cycle plant provides feasible predictions of process optimization. To address the commercialization procedures, first a simple heat recovery scheme is added to improve the overall energy efficiency from 33.87% to 47.31%, and second the traditional economic measures such as net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) are employed. The economic evaluation patterns show that the labor cost dominates the operating cost, the operating cost dominates the total cost of the plant, and the feedstock cost dramatically increases by scaling up the plant capacity. Under prescribed scenarios and optimal conditions, simulations show that the product costs of hydrogen and oxygen decrease by 99% and 91%, respectively, while the plant capacity increases from 3E6 kg/yr to 3E8 kg/yr.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology