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Energies 2016, 9(5), 316; doi:10.3390/en9050316

Solar Hydrogen Production via a Samarium Oxide-Based Thermochemical Water Splitting Cycle

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Qatar University, P. O. Box 2713, Doha 2713, Qatar
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University at Qatar, PO Box 23874, Doha 2713, Qatar
3
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD 57701-3995, USA
4
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe St. North, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wei-Hsin Chen
Received: 25 January 2016 / Revised: 17 April 2016 / Accepted: 18 April 2016 / Published: 25 April 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3453 KB, uploaded 25 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

The computational thermodynamic analysis of a samarium oxide-based two-step solar thermochemical water splitting cycle is reported. The analysis is performed using HSC chemistry software and databases. The first (solar-based) step drives the thermal reduction of Sm2O3 into Sm and O2. The second (non-solar) step corresponds to the production of H2 via a water splitting reaction and the oxidation of Sm to Sm2O3. The equilibrium thermodynamic compositions related to the thermal reduction and water splitting steps are determined. The effect of oxygen partial pressure in the inert flushing gas on the thermal reduction temperature (TH) is examined. An analysis based on the second law of thermodynamics is performed to determine the cycle efficiency (ηcycle) and solar-to-fuel energy conversion efficiency (ηsolar−to−fuel) attainable with and without heat recuperation. The results indicate that ηcycle and ηsolar−to−fuel both increase with decreasing TH, due to the reduction in oxygen partial pressure in the inert flushing gas. Furthermore, the recuperation of heat for the operation of the cycle significantly improves the solar reactor efficiency. For instance, in the case where TH = 2280 K, ηcycle = 24.4% and ηsolar−to−fuel = 29.5% (without heat recuperation), while ηcycle = 31.3% and ηsolar−to−fuel = 37.8% (with 40% heat recuperation). View Full-Text
Keywords: solar thermochemical; thermodynamics; hydrogen; water splitting; samarium oxide; computational analysis solar thermochemical; thermodynamics; hydrogen; water splitting; samarium oxide; computational analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bhosale, R.; Kumar, A.; AlMomani, F.; Ghosh, U.; Saad Anis, M.; Kakosimos, K.; Shende, R.; Rosen, M.A. Solar Hydrogen Production via a Samarium Oxide-Based Thermochemical Water Splitting Cycle. Energies 2016, 9, 316.

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