Solar thermal production of zinc: Program strategy and status of research

A. Steinfeld, A. Weidenkaff, M. Brack, S. Möller, R. Palumbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The solar thermal production of zinc is considered for the conversion of solar energy into storable and transportable chemical fuels. The ultimate objective is to develop a technically and economically viable technology that can produce solar zinc. The program strategy for achieving such goal involves research in two paths: a direct path via the solar thermal splitting of ZnO, and an indirect path via the solar carbothermal and CH4-thermal reduction of ZnO. The chemical thermodynamics and kinetics for both paths are briefly reviewed. A vortex-flow solar reactor for reducing ZnO with CH4 is also described. Solar tests conducted at PSI solar furnaces in the temperature range 1000-1600 K yielded high chemical conversion to zinc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-416
Number of pages12
JournalHigh Temperature Material Processes
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Natural gas
  • Solar chemistry
  • Solar hydrogen
  • Synthesis gas
  • Zinc


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