Special Issue "Concentrated Solar Energy for Materials"

A special issue of ChemEngineering (ISSN 2305-7084).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2020) | Viewed by 10095

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Aurora López-Delgado
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Guest Editor
National Center for Metallurgical Research (CENIM), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: concentrated solar energy; solid waste treatment; inorganic synthesis processes; environmental engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Maximina Romero
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Guest Editor
Eduardo Torroja Institute for Construction Science (IETcc), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), 28033 Madrid, Spain
Interests: glasses; ceramics; waste valorization; microstructure; mullite; porcelain stoneware; concentrated solar energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Isabel Padilla
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Guest Editor
National Center for Metallurgical Research (CENIM); Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: concentrated solar energy; solid waste; metals; material characterization; adsorption process; chemical analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy is essential for almost all of the great challenges and opportunities that humankind faces today. However, energy is the main contributor to climate change, and accounts for around 60% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2015, all of the United Nations Member States accepted the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, an opportunity for countries and their societies to take action so as to improve the lives of all of the world's inhabitants. In this sense, one of the targets of the Agenda is to, by 2030, substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, and to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

In general, the processes of the synthesis and transformation of materials demand an extraordinary energy input in order to reach the high temperature required to complete the different chemical and physical reactions involved. This energy requirement is mainly provided from fossil fuels, with the consequent environmental costs derived from the high emissions of greenhouse gasses. Thus, nowadays, the level of concentration of CO2 into the atmosphere exceeds of 400 ppm.  During the last decades, studies have been carried out to reduce the high level of CO2 emissions by developing new high-temperature processes.  A large number of technologies are available for producing heat from renewable resources, but many of them have technological limits in terms of the maximum temperature that can be achieved. Nevertheless, concentrating solar thermal radiation is a very promising renewable energy resource for the processes requiring temperatures of about 500 °C and above.

For this Special Issue on “Concentrated Solar Energy”, researchers can report their findings on the application of concentrating solar thermal radiation to the synthesis, transformation, and treatment (melting, sintering, reduction, etc.) of materials (metals, alloys, steel, glass, ceramics, cement, composites, etc.). Given your reputed experience in this field, and the outstanding impact of your previous publications, we would very much appreciate your contribution in this Special Issue of ChemEngineering.

Dr. Aurora López-Delgado
Dr. Maximina Romero
Dr. Isabel Padilla
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. ChemEngineering is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • concentrated solar energy (CSE)
  • materials treatment with solar energy
  • synthesis of materials with solar energy
  • transformation of materials with solar energy
  • application of CSE for the treatment of waste

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Waste and Solar Energy: An Eco-Friendly Way for Glass Melting
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5020016 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1085
Abstract
In this work, concentrated solar energy (CSE) was applied to an energy-intensive process such as the vitrification of waste with the aim of manufacturing glasses. Different types of waste were used as raw materials: a hazardous waste from the aluminum industry as aluminum [...] Read more.
In this work, concentrated solar energy (CSE) was applied to an energy-intensive process such as the vitrification of waste with the aim of manufacturing glasses. Different types of waste were used as raw materials: a hazardous waste from the aluminum industry as aluminum source; two residues from the food industry (eggshell and mussel shell) and dolomite ore as calcium source; quartz sand was also employed as glass network former. The use of CSE allowed obtaining glasses in the SiO2-Al2O3-CaO system at exposure time as short as 15 min. The raw materials, their mixtures, and the resulting glasses were characterized by means of X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, and differential thermal analysis. The feasibility of combining a renewable energy, as solar energy and different waste for the manufacture of glasses, would highly contribute to circular economy and environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concentrated Solar Energy for Materials)
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Article
Development of Heavy Metal-Free Photocatalytic RhB Decomposition System Using a Biodegradable Plastic Substrate
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5010011 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1013
Abstract
The heavy-metal-free photocatalytic system, in which carbon nitride is coated on polylactic acid (PLA) as biodegradable plastic through a simple dip coating method, was used for dye decomposition under visible light irradiation. Solvent selection, solvent concentration, and the number of coatings for dip [...] Read more.
The heavy-metal-free photocatalytic system, in which carbon nitride is coated on polylactic acid (PLA) as biodegradable plastic through a simple dip coating method, was used for dye decomposition under visible light irradiation. Solvent selection, solvent concentration, and the number of coatings for dip coating were investigated to optimize the conditions for loading carbon nitride on PLA. Carbon nitride cannot be coated on PLA in water, but it can be strongly coated by decomposing the surface of PLA with ethanol or chlorobenzene to promote physical adsorption and activate surface. The number of dip coatings also affected the photocatalytic decomposition ability. The photocatalytic system was able to decompose the dye continuously in the flow method, and dye (rhodamine B) was decomposed by about 50% at a residence time of 12 min (flow rate 0.350 mL/min) for 30 h. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concentrated Solar Energy for Materials)
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Article
Preliminary Study on the Application of Concentrated Solar Power in Metallurgy of Titanium
ChemEngineering 2019, 3(4), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering3040084 - 10 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
The applicability of concentrated solar power for metallurgy of titanium is discussed based on preliminary experimental works performed at Plataforma Solar de Almeria Spain, using solar furnace SF40 under protective argon atmosphere. As a starting material, titanium powder was used. The possibility of [...] Read more.
The applicability of concentrated solar power for metallurgy of titanium is discussed based on preliminary experimental works performed at Plataforma Solar de Almeria Spain, using solar furnace SF40 under protective argon atmosphere. As a starting material, titanium powder was used. The possibility of melting titanium compacts on yttria stabilized zirconia mat was investigated, and the effect of density and size of different green compacts was studied. It was observed that the time to achieve melting point is very short when concentrated solar power is used. The obtained results are expected to be similar for titanium sponge from which titanium powder is processed. After optimization of processing parameters, this will probably lead to a significant decrease of carbon footprint in the titanium ingots and castings production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concentrated Solar Energy for Materials)
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Review

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Review
Solar Heat for Materials Processing: A Review on Recent Achievements and a Prospect on Future Trends
ChemEngineering 2019, 3(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering3040083 - 08 Oct 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2271
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concentrated Solar Energy for Materials)
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Review
Metal Oxides Applied to Thermochemical Water-Splitting for Hydrogen Production Using Concentrated Solar Energy
ChemEngineering 2019, 3(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering3030063 - 04 Jul 2019
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3772
Abstract
Solar thermochemical processes have the potential to efficiently convert high-temperature solar heat into storable and transportable chemical fuels such as hydrogen. In such processes, the thermal energy required for the endothermic reaction is supplied by concentrated solar energy and the hydrogen production routes [...] Read more.
Solar thermochemical processes have the potential to efficiently convert high-temperature solar heat into storable and transportable chemical fuels such as hydrogen. In such processes, the thermal energy required for the endothermic reaction is supplied by concentrated solar energy and the hydrogen production routes differ as a function of the feedstock resource. While hydrogen production should still rely on carbonaceous feedstocks in a transition period, thermochemical water-splitting using metal oxide redox reactions is considered to date as one of the most attractive methods in the long-term to produce renewable H2 for direct use in fuel cells or further conversion to synthetic liquid hydrocarbon fuels. The two-step redox cycles generally consist of the endothermic solar thermal reduction of a metal oxide releasing oxygen with concentrated solar energy used as the high-temperature heat source for providing reaction enthalpy; and the exothermic oxidation of the reduced oxide with H2O to generate H2. This approach requires the development of redox-active and thermally-stable oxide materials able to split water with both high fuel productivities and chemical conversion rates. The main relevant two-step metal oxide systems are commonly based on volatile (ZnO/Zn, SnO2/SnO) and non-volatile redox pairs (Fe3O4/FeO, ferrites, CeO2/CeO2−δ, perovskites). These promising hydrogen production cycles are described by providing an overview of the best performing redox systems, with special focus on their capabilities to produce solar hydrogen with high yields, rapid reaction rates, and thermochemical performance stability, and on the solar reactor technologies developed to operate the solid–gas reaction systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concentrated Solar Energy for Materials)
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