Potential of transcritical recompression Rankine cycle operating with CO2-based binary mixtures

Yuyuan Yang, Tianchen Xue, Zhenghua Rao*, Shengming Liao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


CO2 transcritical Rankine cycle (CO2-TRC) has a great potential for many applications like concentrating solar power (CSP) and waste heat recovery due to advantages of using low- or medium-temperature heat sources and compact structures. However, the relatively low critical temperature of CO2 and the simple regenerative cycle layout limit the applicability to hot arid environmental conditions. In this work, a transcritical recompression Rankine cycle (TRRC) applying CO2-based binary mixture as working fluid is proposed to improve thermal performances. A thermodynamic model is developed and applied to estimate the potential of the cycle for CSP or waste heat recovery applications with ambient temperature in the range of 0–35 ℃. The results show that adding gaseous media (i.e. propane, H2S, R32 and R161) into CO2 increases the critical temperature and thus extends the condensation temperature range. The decreasing condensation pressure mainly contributes to the improvement of the optimal thermal efficiency, exergy efficiency and specific work of TRRC. Among the selected working fluids, the TRRC applying CO2-R32 shows the greatest potential under the medium-temperature heat source (e.g. turbine inlet temperature of 400 ℃) and relatively high ambient temperature (e.g. 15 ∼ 35 ℃). When the ambient temperature is 35 ℃, the corresponding thermal efficiency, exergy efficiency and specific work of the TRRC applying CO2-R32 are 32.77%, 58.99% and 36.93 kJ/kg, respectively, which are comparable to those of the pure CO2 TRRC at a lower ambient temperature of 15 ℃.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115040
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Early online date24 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • CO-based binary mixture
  • Thermodynamic analysis
  • Transcritical recompression Rankine cycle


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