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Title: Final LDRD report :

Despite rapid progress, solar thermochemistry remains high risk; improvements in both active materials and reactor systems are needed. This claim is supported by studies conducted both prior to and as part of this project. Materials offer a particular large opportunity space as, until recently, very little effort apart from basic thermodynamic analysis was extended towards understanding this most fundamental component of a metal oxide thermochemical cycle. Without this knowledge, system design was hampered, but more importantly, advances in these crucial materials were rare and resulted more from intuition rather than detailed insight. As a result, only two basic families of potentially viable solid materials have been widely considered, each of which has significant challenges. Recent efforts towards applying an increased level of scientific rigor to the study of thermochemical materials have provided a much needed framework and insights toward developing the next generation of highly improved thermochemically active materials. The primary goal of this project was to apply this hard-won knowledge to rapidly advance the field of thermochemistry to produce a material within 2 years that is capable of yielding CO from CO2 at a 12.5 % reactor efficiency. Three principal approaches spanning a range of risk and potential rewardsmore » were pursued: modification of known materials, structuring known materials, and identifying/developing new materials for the application. A newly developed best-of-class material produces more fuel (9x more H2, 6x more CO) under milder conditions than the previous state of the art. Analyses of thermochemical reactor and system efficiencies and economics were performed and a new hybrid concept was reported. The larger case for solar fuels was also further refined and documented.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Sandia National Laboratories,, Livermore, CA
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States