Journal of Cleaner Production vol:18 issue:9 pages:900-907
This paper describes various solar thermochemical processes for the production of hydrogen, carbon nano particles, industrial grade carbon black, and metals with substantially reduced CO2 emission footprint. The paper introduces an innovative approach of a three-dimensional volumetric production of carbon nano particles via thermal cracking of methane gained by carbon seeding as an alternative to the existing two dimensional modes. The paper also describes an alternative pathway for hydrogen production via three consecutive solar thermochemical processes, namely, solar cracking of methane, solar carbo-reduction of ZnO and CO reduction of CdO, providing long term storage of solar energy. Finally, the paper provides an example solar windowed reactor for clean production of hydrogen, and it presents numerical analysis of the solar reactor based on computational fluid dynamics results, simulating one of the major problems with natural gas cracking in solar reactors, namely, carbon contamination of the transparent window and clogging of the reactor.