Efficiency of two-step solar thermochemical non-stoichiometric redox cycles withheat recovery

J. Lapp, J. H. Davidson, W. Lipiński

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Improvements in the effectiveness of solid phase heat recovery and in the thermodynamic properties of metal oxides are the most important paths to achieving unprecedented thermal efficiencies of 10% and higher in non-stoichiometric solar redox reactors. In this paper, the impact of solid and gas phase heat recovery on the efficiency of a non-stoichiometric cerium dioxide-based H2O/CO2 splitting cycle realized in a solar-driven reactor are evaluated in a parametric thermodynamic analysis. Application of solid phase heat recovery to the cycling metal oxide allows for lower reduction zone operating temperatures, simplifying reactor design. An optimum temperature for metal oxide reduction results from two competing phenomena as the reduction temperature is increased: increasing re-radiation losses from the reactor aperture and decreasing heat loss due to imperfect solid phase heat recovery. Additionally, solid phase heat recovery increases the efficiency gains made possible by gas phase heat recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-600
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support of the National Science Foundation (grant no. EFRI-1038308 ) and of the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (grant nos. RL-0001-2009 and RL-0003-2011 ) is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Cerium dioxide
  • Metal oxide
  • Synthesis gas
  • Synthetic hydrocarbon fuels
  • Water splitting


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