Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 815–823 | Cite as

Thermodynamics and kinetics of the thermal decomposition of cupric chloride in its hydrolysis reaction

  • Z. WangEmail author
  • G. Marin
  • G. F. Naterer
  • K. S. Gabriel


The hydrolysis of copper(II) chloride is the water splitting process in the copper–chlorine thermochemical hydrogen production cycle. In this paper, a simultaneous differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis (DSC/TG) technique is used to determine the transitional temperature and kinetics of the thermal decomposition of CuCl2. Thermodynamic analysis is performed on the decomposition reaction for a comparison with the thermogravimetric analysis results. The CuCl2 decomposition temperature obtained from thermogravimetric experiments is found to be higher than that predicted from the thermodynamic analysis. This broadens the available operating temperature range of the CuCl2 hydrolysis step for the Cu–Cl cycle. It is also found that the decomposition product CuCl may completely evaporate if the temperature is higher than its melting point, so the CuCl2 hydrolysis reaction should be operated below the melting point of CuCl (430 °C) to avoid the undesirable CuCl and Cl2 byproducts. A preliminary correlation is proposed in this paper for the decomposition kinetics in terms of the extent of converting CuCl2 to CuCl and Cl2.


Thermal decomposition Copper chloride Hydrolysis SDC/TG analysis 



Specific heat/kJ mol−1K−1


Gibbs free energy/kJ mol−1


Reaction quotient


Enthalpy/kJ mol−1


Reaction equilibrium constant


Final amount of Cl2/mol


Initial sample amount/mol


Reading of TG/mass%


Entropy/kJ mol−1K−1


Temperature/°C or K





Decomposition extent/%



Support of this research from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and the Ontario Research Excellence Fund is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Marin
    • 2
  • G. F. Naterer
    • 3
  • K. S. Gabriel
    • 4
  1. 1.Clean Energy Research LaboratoryUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada
  2. 2.Colorado Salt ProductsDenverUSA
  3. 3.Faculty of Engineering and Applied ScienceMemorial University of NewfoundlandNewfoundlandCanada
  4. 4.Faculty of Engineering and Applied ScienceUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada

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