Commercial Alloys for Sulfuric Acid Vaporization in Thermochemical Hydrogen Cycles

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Most thermochemical cycles being considered for producing hydrogen include a processing stream in which dilute sulfuric acid is concentrated, vaporized and then decomposed over a catalyst. The sulfuric acid vaporizer is exposed to highly aggressive conditions. Liquid sulfuric acid will be present at a concentration of >96 wt% (>90 mol %) H2SO4 and temperatures exceeding 400oC [Brown, et. al, 2003]. The system will also be pressurized, 0.7-3.5 MPa, to keep the sulfuric acid in the liquid state at this temperature and acid concentration. These conditions far exceed those found in the commercial sulfuric acid generation, regeneration and handling industries. Exotic ... continued below

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Lillo, Thomas M. & Delezene-Briggs, Karen M. October 1, 2005.

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Most thermochemical cycles being considered for producing hydrogen include a processing stream in which dilute sulfuric acid is concentrated, vaporized and then decomposed over a catalyst. The sulfuric acid vaporizer is exposed to highly aggressive conditions. Liquid sulfuric acid will be present at a concentration of >96 wt% (>90 mol %) H2SO4 and temperatures exceeding 400oC [Brown, et. al, 2003]. The system will also be pressurized, 0.7-3.5 MPa, to keep the sulfuric acid in the liquid state at this temperature and acid concentration. These conditions far exceed those found in the commercial sulfuric acid generation, regeneration and handling industries. Exotic materials, e.g. ceramics, precious metals, clad materials, etc., have been proposed for this application [Wong, et. al., 2005]. However, development time, costs, reliability, safety concerns and/or certification issues plague such solutions and should be considered as relatively long-term, optimum solutions. A more cost-effective (and relatively near-term) solution would be to use commercially-available metallic alloys to demonstrate the cycle and study process variables. However, the corrosion behavior of commercial alloys in sulfuric acid is rarely characterized above the natural boiling point of concentrated sulfuric acid (~250oC at 1 atm). Therefore a screening study was undertaken to evaluate the suitability of various commercial alloys for concentration and vaporization of high-temperature sulfuric acid. Initially alloys were subjected to static corrosion tests in concentrated sulfuric acid (~95-97% H2SO4) at temperatures and exposure times up to 200oC and 480 hours, respectively. Alloys with a corrosion rate of less than 5 mm/year were then subjected to static corrosion tests at a pressure of 1.4 MPa and temperatures up to 375oC. Exposure times were shorter due to safety concerns and ranged from as short as 5 hours up to 144 hours. The materials evaluated included nickel-, iron- and cobalt-based commercial alloys. The corrosion rates in these tests are reported and how they may or may not relate to the corrosion behavior in an operating thermochemical cycle is discussed.

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  • 2005 AICHE ANNUAL MEETING,Cincinnati, OH,10/30/2005,11/04/2005

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-05-00797
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911129
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc878609

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  • October 1, 2005

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 4:01 p.m.

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Lillo, Thomas M. & Delezene-Briggs, Karen M. Commercial Alloys for Sulfuric Acid Vaporization in Thermochemical Hydrogen Cycles, article, October 1, 2005; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc878609/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.