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Abstract: The entire production chain for renewable kerosene obtained directly from sunlight, H2O, and CO2 has been experimentally demonstrated. The key component of the production process is a high-temperature solar reactor containing a reticulated porous ceramic (RPC) structure made of ceria, which enables the splitting of H2O and CO2 via a 2-step thermochemical redox cycle. In the 1st endothermic reduction step, ceria is reduced using concentrated solar radiation as the energy source of process heat. In the 2nd exothermic oxidation step, nonstoichiometric ceria reacts with H2O and/or CO2 to form H2 and/or CO – syngas – which is finally converted into kerosene by the Fischer-Tropsch process. The RPC features dual-scale porosity for enhanced heat/mass transport and rapid redox kinetics, while 500 consecutive redox cycles further validate material stability and structure robustness. Solar experimental runs with 3000x suns flux irradiation yielded 100% selectivity, 83% molar conversion, and 5.25% solar-to-fuel energy efficiency.

Biosketch: Aldo Steinfeld (PhD University of Minnesota, 1989) is  Professor at the Dept. of Mechanical and Process Engineering of ETH Zurich, where he holds the Chair of Renewable Energy Carriers. He served as the Head of the Institute of Energy Technology from 2005–2007 and Associate Head of the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering from 2007–2009. He has authored more than 300 refereed journal papers, filed 30 patents, and supervised 42 PhD theses. His publications have received over 17,000 citations. His contributions to science and education have been recognized with the ASME Rice Award (2006), the Yellott Award (2008), the European Research Council Advanced Grant (2012), the ISES Farrington Daniels Award (2013), the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award (2013), and the ASME Kreith Energy Award (2016). Prof. Steinfeld is member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences.

This Fall, Prof. Steinfeld is the holder of the Boelter Chair at UCLA.

Date(s) - Oct 20, 2017
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


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