J. Phys. IV France 09 (1999) Pr3-313-Pr3-318
Solar thermal production of zinc : Program strategy and status of researchA. Weidenkaff, M. Brack, S. Möller, R. Palumbo and A. Steinfeld
High-Temperature Solar Technology, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen-PSI, Switzerland
The solar thermal production of zinc is considered for the conversion of solar energy into storable and transportable chemical fuels. The ultimate objective is to develop a technically and economically viable technology that can produce solar zinc. The program strategy for achieving such goal involves research in two paths : a direct path via the solar thermal splitting of ZnO, and an indirect path via the solar carbothermal and CH4-thermal reduction of ZnO. The chemical thermodynamics and kinetics for both paths are briefly reviewed. A vortex-flow solar reactor for reducing ZnO with CH4 is also described. Solar tests conducted at PSI solar furnaces in the temperature range 1000-1600 K yielded high chemical conversion to zinc.
© EDP Sciences 1999