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RESEARCH PAPERS

Solar Hydrogen Production by a Two-Step Cycle Based on Mixed Iron Oxides

[+] Author and Article Information
Martin Roeb, Ruth Klüser, Nathalie Monnerie, Lamark de Oliveira

German Aerospace Center DLR, Institute of Technical Thermodynamics-Solar Research, 51170 Cologne, Germany

Christian Sattler

German Aerospace Center DLR, Institute of Technical Thermodynamics-Solar Research, 51170 Cologne, Germanychristian.sattler@dlr.de

Athanasios G. Konstandopoulos, V. T. Zaspalis, L. Nalbandian

Centre For Research And Technology-Hellas, Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute, Thessaloniki, Greece

Christos Agrafiotis

Centre For Research And Technology-Hellas, Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute, Thessaloniki, Greecechrisagr@cperi.certh.gr

Andrew Steele

 Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells, Blount’s Court, Sonning Common, Reading RG4 9NH, UKsteela@mathey.com

Per Stobbe

 Stobbe Tech A/S, Vejlemosevej 60, DK-2840 Holte, Denmarkper@stobbe.dk

J. Sol. Energy Eng 128(2), 125-133 (Sep 27, 2005) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2183804 History: Received May 09, 2005; Revised September 27, 2005

A promising method for the conversion and storage of solar energy into hydrogen is the dissociation of water into oxygen and hydrogen, carried out via a two-step process using metal oxide redox systems such as mixed iron oxides, coated upon multi-channeled honeycomb ceramic supports capable of absorbing solar irradiation, in a configuration similar to that encountered in automobile exhaust catalytic converters. With this configuration, the whole process can be carried out in a single solar energy converter, the process temperature can be significantly lowered compared to other thermo-chemical cycles and the recombination of oxygen and hydrogen is prevented by fixing the oxygen in the metal oxide. For the realization of the integrated concept, research work proceeded in three parallel directions: synthesis of active redox systems, manufacture of ceramic honeycomb supports and manufacture, testing and optimization of operating conditions of a thermochemical solar receiver-reactor. The receiver-reactor has been developed and installed in the solar furnace in Cologne, Germany. It was proven that solar hydrogen production is feasible by this process demonstrating that multicycling of the process was possible in principle.

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Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Solar test reactor at DLR in Cologne, Germany

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Figure 2

Progress of O2 signal provided by a mass spectrometer using a SiSiC monolith and a ReSiC monolith

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Figure 3

Honeycomb coated with activated iron oxide in the center of the reactor, ready for testing

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Figure 4

Mass flow of hydrogen during splitting of water on Zn, Mn-doped iron oxide on ReSiC

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Figure 5

Mass flow during release of oxygen (Zn, Mn-doped iron oxide on ReSiC)

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Figure 6

Mass flow of hydrogen produced during subsequent splitting steps (activated Fe2O3 on SiSiC)

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Figure 7

Design of a faceted receiver on a solar tower

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Figure 8

Simulation of heliostat field. Heliostat positions relating to tower (25MWth).

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Figure 9

Basic flow sheet of the water splitting process: (1) condenser, (2) receiver reactor, (3) valve, (4) heat exchanger (two stages), (5) valve, (6) steam generator, (7) heat exchanger (two stages)

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Figure 10

Scheme of plant concept with integrated simple flow sheet

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Figure 11

Investment costs

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Figure 12

Operational costs

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