291874 A Comparison of Two-Step Concentrated Solar Thermal Water Splitting Materials

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Kayla Weston1, Christopher L. Muhich2, Xinhua Liang3 and Alan W. Weimer1, (1)Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, (2)Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, (3)Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla

Breaking our dependence on fossil fuels will become a significant challenge as our fossil fuel reserves decrease and the negative impacts of global warming increase. In order to alleviate this dependence, the development and utilization of alternative energy sources is imperative. Hydrogen is a promising alternative energy source if it can be produced in a renewable and economic fashion. We have investigated H2 production via concentrated solar thermal driven two-step water splitting reactions facilitated by metal oxide catalysis materials. In the first step, high temperature step, the metal oxide is reduced releasing oxygen; in the subsequent second lower temperate step, steam is introduced which reoxidizes the material to its original state and produces H2. Ceria and ferrite based materials, such as hercynite are the main oxides commonly used. As such, we compare ceria and hercynite material under identical reaction conditions, and in the same reactor setup, in order to analyze differences in reaction rates, durability, and hydrogen production capacity in order to identify the current optimal material and identify areas where improvements need to be made.  The comparison will include hercynite material synthesized through atomic layer deposition and hercynite material synthesized through incipient wetness.

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