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Materials 2010, 3(11), 4922-4938; doi:10.3390/ma3114922

Review of the Two-Step H2O/CO2-Splitting Solar Thermochemical Cycle Based on Zn/ZnO Redox Reactions

1
Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Solar Technology Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2010 / Revised: 4 November 2010 / Accepted: 8 November 2010 / Published: 12 November 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Energy Materials)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar; energy; concentrated; thermochemical cycle; hydrogen; syngas; reactor solar; energy; concentrated; thermochemical cycle; hydrogen; syngas; reactor
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

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.

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