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Reactor model to produce solar thermal hydrogen

Research Achievements

Reactor model to produce solar thermal hydrogen

PhD student Erik Koepf is working on developing a reactor model to produce solar thermal hydrogen using the zinc oxide thermochemical cycle. This is a multidisciplinary project to produce hydrogen renewably using sunlight and involves reactor design, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, reaction kinetics, high temperature materials, and highly concentrated solar radiation. Design choices are based on reactor efficiency, which is essentially related to the effectiveness of the reactor in delivering and distributing highly concentrated sunlight to the reactants. After selecting the most optimal design, Erik will create machine drawings for the steel, ceramic tiles, bricks of insulation, and quartz windows that will be accepting 10kW of concentrated sunlight. The reactor will be built during summer 2009 and then Erik will evaluate its performance at the Lab of Professor Aldo Steinfeld at ETH, Zurich.