Solar parabolic trough systems for electricity production are receiving renewed attention, and new solar plants are under construction to help meet the growing demands of the power market in the Western United States. The growing solar trough industry will rely on operating experience it has gained over the last two decades. Recently, researchers found that trough plants that use organic heat transfer fluids (HTFs) such as Therminol VP-1 are experiencing significant heat losses in the receiver tubes. The cause has been traced back to the accumulation of excess hydrogen gas in the vacuum annulus that surrounds the steel receiver tube, thus compromising the thermal insulation of the receiver. The hydrogen gas is formed during the thermal decomposition of the organic HTF that circulates inside the receiver loop, and the installation of hydrogen getters inside the annulus has proven to be insufficient for controlling the hydrogen buildup over the lifetime of the receivers. This paper will provide an overview of the chemical literature dealing with the thermal decomposition of diphenyl oxide and biphenyl, which are the two constituents of Therminol VP-1.