Efficient two-step solar-thermochemical fuel production requires vacuum pumping or inert gas sweeping to lower the oxygen pressure in the thermal reduction step. Pumping is hampered by large oxygen volumetric flows, whereas sweeping is energy-intensive, requiring heat recovery at high temperature, and a dedicated inert gas purification plant. A novel pumping approach - using a cascade of chambers at successively lower pressures - is analyzed and shown to lead to over an order of magnitude pressure decrease compared to a single-chambered design. The resulting efficiency gains are substantial, and represent an important step toward practical and efficient solar fuel production on a large scale. © 2014, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ermanoski, I. (2014). Cascading pressure thermal reduction for efficient solar fuel production. In International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (Vol. 39, pp. 13114–13117). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2014.06.143