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Solar Reactor for the Thermochemical Dissociation of Solid-Oxides and Creation of Solar Fuels


This invention relates to a novel solar-thermal reactor for efficient sunlight energy storage. The reactor is designed to take ZnO powder and dissociate it into metallic Zn using highly concentrated sunlight to achieve reactor temperatures of close to 2000K collect the Zn and vent the oxygen. The Zn could then be used in a second step to create hydrogen from water. This invention is unique in that it only needs sunlight energy as a heat source. Unlike other solar-reactors that are capable of ZnO reduction this invention differs from them primarily in geometry and reactant feed mechanism. To our knowledge there is not other functional reactor able to create a thin moving reaction layer for semi-continuous ZnO dissociation by solar energy.

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