skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Solar-thermal hydrogen production

Abstract

Since hydrogen is not only an eventual and attractive fuel but is also a prime intermediate in the production of many fuels and chemicals, one extremely valuable utilization of a solar thermal facility would be its operation as a system for hydrogen production. Such a use would also fulfill the important requirement for energy storage. Solar thermal systems appear to offer the only practical method for significant hydrogen production from solar energy. The production could utilize advanced methods of water electrolysis if highly efficient generation of solar electricity were developed. Thermochemical cycles for water decomposition appear to be more promising if cycles that match the characteristics of solar heat sources can be developed. Advanced cycles based on solid sulfate or solid oxide decomposition reactions should interface advantageously with solar thermal systems. Sulfuric acid cycles can serve as standards of comparison for these new cycles as they are discovered and developed.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos Scientific Lab., NM (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
6217389
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-81-1730; CONF-810137-2
ON: DE81025406
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Solar thermal test facility (STTF) workshop: STTF testing for long-term system performance, Albuquerque, NM, USA, 7 Jan 1981
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; HYDROGEN PRODUCTION; ELECTROLYSIS; THERMOCHEMICAL PROCESSES; SOLAR ENERGY CONVERSION; BISMUTH SULFATES; OXYGEN; SULFURIC ACID; WATER; BISMUTH COMPOUNDS; CONVERSION; ELEMENTS; ENERGY CONVERSION; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; INORGANIC ACIDS; LYSIS; NONMETALS; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; SULFATES; SULFUR COMPOUNDS; 080101* - Hydrogen- Production- Electrolysis; 140505 - Solar Energy Conversion- Photochemical, Photobiological, & Thermochemical Conversion- (1980-); 080102 - Hydrogen- Production- Thermochemical Processes

Citation Formats

Bowman, M.G. Solar-thermal hydrogen production. United States: N. p., 1981. Web.
Bowman, M.G. Solar-thermal hydrogen production. United States.
Bowman, M.G. Thu . "Solar-thermal hydrogen production". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/6217389.
@article{osti_6217389,
title = {Solar-thermal hydrogen production},
author = {Bowman, M.G.},
abstractNote = {Since hydrogen is not only an eventual and attractive fuel but is also a prime intermediate in the production of many fuels and chemicals, one extremely valuable utilization of a solar thermal facility would be its operation as a system for hydrogen production. Such a use would also fulfill the important requirement for energy storage. Solar thermal systems appear to offer the only practical method for significant hydrogen production from solar energy. The production could utilize advanced methods of water electrolysis if highly efficient generation of solar electricity were developed. Thermochemical cycles for water decomposition appear to be more promising if cycles that match the characteristics of solar heat sources can be developed. Advanced cycles based on solid sulfate or solid oxide decomposition reactions should interface advantageously with solar thermal systems. Sulfuric acid cycles can serve as standards of comparison for these new cycles as they are discovered and developed.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1981},
month = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1981}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • The generation of fuels and chemicals from commonly available feedstocks using concentrated solar energy is of major importance to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) solar thermal research program. In general, chemical reactions yielding these desirable end products must be conducted with significant thermal input at elevated temperatures. Such thermal requirements match well with the potential of point-focusing mirror systems such as the Advanced Components Test Facility (ACTF) operated by the Georgia Institute of Technology for DOE. Accordingly, a program to develop a solar driven chemical reactor has been initiated as one task assigned to the Solar Thermal Advanced Researchmore » Center located at Georgia Tech. One particularly interesting concept for converting concentrated solar radiation into chemical bond energy employs the direct flux heated particle entrainment reactor. In this scheme, finely ground solid reactants and/or catalysts are carried in a gaseous reactant flowing through a region of intense flux. In theory, the entrained particulate lends opacity to the flow, absorbs the concentrated incident solar energy, heats and chemically interacts with the surrounding media. For any given reaction this process can be quite complex. Final product composition may depend on such variables as particle surface temperature, gas temperature, heating rate profile, time of particle exposure to radiation (residence time), particle size distribution, presence of catalysts, and spectral distribution of the radiation.« less
  • An investigation of direct solar-thermal hydrogen and oxygen production from water is described. Nozzle jets and skimmers have been used for separation of the products and suppression of recombination. The dissociation of water vapor and the separation of its products was conducted in plasma-enhanced, non-equilibrium glow discharges.
  • The utilization of high temperature solar heat for the production of electricity and/or fuels is a popular concept. However, since solar concentrator systems are expensive and solar radiation intermittent, practical utilization requires processes that exhibit high conversion efficiencies and also incorporate energy storage. The production of hydrogen fulfills the requirement for energy storage and can fulfill the requirement for efficient heat utilization if thermochemical cycles are developed where the temperature and heat requirements of the process match the heat delivery characteristics of the solar receiver system. Cycles based on solid sulfate decomposition reactions may lead to efficient utilization of solarmore » heat at practical temperatures. Higher temperature cycles involving oxide decomposition may also become feasible.« less
  • Progress is reported on the development of a unique and innovative hydrogen production concept utilizing renewable (Solar) energy and incorporating energy storage. The concept is based on a solar-electrolytic system for production of hydrogen and oxygen. It employs water, bromine, solar energy, and supplemental electrical power. The process consumes only water, sunlight and off-peak electricity, and produces only hydrogen, oxygen, and peaking electrical power. No pollutants are emitted, and fossil fuels are not consumed. The concept is being developed by Solar Reactor Technologies, Inc., (SRT) under the auspices of a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).