Efficient two-step solar-thermochemical fuel production requires vacuum pumping or inert gas sweeping to lower the oxygen pressure in the thermal reduction step. Pumping is hampered by large oxygen volumetric flows, whereas sweeping is energy-intensive, requiring heat recovery at high temperature, and a dedicated inert gas purification plant. A novel pumping approach - using a cascade of chambers at successively lower pressures - is analyzed and shown to lead to over an order of magnitude pressure decrease compared to a single-chambered design. The resulting efficiency gains are substantial, and represent an important step toward practical and efficient solar fuel production on a large scale.
- Carbon dioxide
- Solar fuels
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology