Development of a molten salt reactor for solar gasification of biomass

B. J. Hathaway, D. B. Kittelson, J. H. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Solar gasification has the benefits of maximizing the yield of synthesis gas from gasification of biomass and other carbonaceous feed stock and storing solar energy in chemical form. The University of Minnesota has developed a 3kWth prototype solar gasification reactor in which biomass is converted to synthesis gas within a molten carbonate salt. The salt serves as a catalyst for gasification, ensures effective transfer of heat to the reactants, and provides thermal storage to ensure steady operation. This paper describes the reactor concept and provides an overview of the design process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1950-1959
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Procedia
StatePublished - 2014
EventInternational Conference on Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems, SolarPACES 2013 - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: Sep 17 2013Sep 20 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment.


  • Biomass
  • Gasification
  • Molten salt
  • Reactor design
  • Solar
  • Thermochemistry


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