Considering works published in the literature for more than a decade (period from January 2008 till June 2019), this paper provides an overview of recent applications of the so-called “solar furnaces”, their reactors, process chambers and related devices, aiming specifically at the processing of (solid) materials. Based on the author’s own experience, some prospects on future trends are also presented. The aim of this work is to demonstrate the tremendous potentialities of the usage of solar heat for materials processing, but also to reveal the necessity of further developing solar-driven high-temperature technologies (which are required to displace the use of electricity or natural gas). In particular, it is essential to improve the temperature homogeneity conditions inside reaction chambers for materials processing using solar heat. Moreover, new innovative modular systems, practical and flexible, for capture, concentration, control and conduction of concentrated solar radiation are suggested. Solar thermal technologies for the production of electricity, as well as solar thermochemical processes for production of gases or liquids, are outside the scope of this review.
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