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Review of the Two-Step H2O/CO2-Splitting Solar Thermochemical Cycle Based on Zn/ZnO Redox Reactions
Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Solar Technology Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2010; in revised form: 4 November 2010 / Accepted: 8 November 2010 / Published: 12 November 2010
Abstract: This article provides a comprehensive overview of the work to date on the two‑step solar H2O and/or CO2 splitting thermochemical cycles with Zn/ZnO redox reactions to produce H2 and/or CO, i.e., synthesis gas—the precursor to renewable liquid hydrocarbon fuels. The two-step cycle encompasses: (1) The endothermic dissociation of ZnO to Zn and O2 using concentrated solar energy as the source for high-temperature process heat; and (2) the non-solar exothermic oxidation of Zn with H2O/CO2 to generate H2/CO, respectively; the resulting ZnO is then recycled to the first step. An outline of the underlying science and the technological advances in solar reactor engineering is provided along with life cycle and economic analyses.
Keywords: solar; energy; concentrated; thermochemical cycle; hydrogen; syngas; reactor
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Loutzenhiser, P.G.; Meier, A.; Steinfeld, A. Review of the Two-Step H2O/CO2-Splitting Solar Thermochemical Cycle Based on Zn/ZnO Redox Reactions. Materials 2010, 3, 4922-4938.
Loutzenhiser PG, Meier A, Steinfeld A. Review of the Two-Step H2O/CO2-Splitting Solar Thermochemical Cycle Based on Zn/ZnO Redox Reactions. Materials. 2010; 3(11):4922-4938.
Loutzenhiser, Peter G.; Meier, Anton; Steinfeld, Aldo. 2010. "Review of the Two-Step H2O/CO2-Splitting Solar Thermochemical Cycle Based on Zn/ZnO Redox Reactions." Materials 3, no. 11: 4922-4938.