Research Papers

Design of a Lab-Scale Rotary Cavity-Type Solar Reactor for Continuous Thermal Dissociation of Volatile Oxides Under Reduced Pressure

[+] Author and Article Information
Marc Chambon, Gilles Flamant

 Processes, Materials, and Solar Energy Laboratory (PROMES-CNRS, UPR 8521), 7 Rue du Four Solaire, 66120 Odeillo Font-Romeu, France

Stéphane Abanades1

 Processes, Materials, and Solar Energy Laboratory (PROMES-CNRS, UPR 8521), 7 Rue du Four Solaire, 66120 Odeillo Font-Romeu, Franceabanades@promes.cnrs.fr


Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 132(2), 021006 (May 06, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001147 History: Received September 03, 2009; Revised November 17, 2009; Published May 06, 2010; Online May 06, 2010

A high-temperature lab-scale solar reactor prototype was designed, constructed and operated, allowing continuous ZnO thermal dissociation under controlled atmosphere at reduced pressure. It is based on a cavity-type rotating receiver absorbing solar radiation and composed of standard refractory materials. The reactant oxide powder is injected continuously inside the cavity and the produced particles (Zn) are recovered in a downstream ceramic filter. Dilution/quenching of the product gases with a neutral gas yields Zn nanoparticles by condensation. The solar thermal dissociation of ZnO was experimentally achieved, the reaction yields were quantified, and a first concept of solar reactor was qualified. The maximum yield of particles recovery in the filter was 21% and the dissociation yield was up to 87% (Zn weight content in the final powder) for a 5 NL/min neutral gas flow-rate (typical dilution ratio of 300).

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Sketch of the solar reactor for continuous metal oxide processing and its encapsulation for tests under reduced pressure

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Figure 2

Rotary cavity reactor (window and filter removed)

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Figure 3

Water-cooled rotary cavity (refractory parts removed)

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Figure 4

Nanoparticle filter in its glass encapsulation

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Figure 5

Calibration curve used for quantitative XRD analysis of powders

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Figure 6

Cavity made in sintered AL24 (quartz wool removed)

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Figure 7

Profiles of the investigated cavities. Dot lines for the feeding tube. Relative sizes and shapes similar to real ones.

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Figure 8

Cavities made of zirconia cement

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Figure 9

D-type cavity made of alumina tube and alumino-silicate insulation (50 mm length)

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Figure 10

AL24 (left) and AL23 (right) tubes after heating

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Figure 11

Feeding tube after five runs (cavity on the left side)

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Figure 12

Thermal dynamic behavior with cavity D for experiment No. 3 (thin line) and No. 4 (bold line), Table 2, with constant DNI=900 W/m2 in both cases

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Figure 13

XRD pattern of the solar powder (Table 2, No. 3). Dot and square correspond to Zn and ZnO, respectively.

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Figure 14

SEM picture of grains of solar powder

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Figure 15

Surface of the grains of solar powder. Structure at the center with crystal planes.

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Figure 16

Alumino-silicate front board after three tests




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