Solar radiant processing of gas particle systems for producing useful fuel and chemicals
This paper reviews the research program at LBL studying direct radiant heating for the production of fuels and chemicals. The research is investigating the use of gas-particle suspensions to absorb concentrated sunlight to supply energy for endothermic chemical reactions. The goal of the research is to understand the optical, thermodynamic, and chemical processes in solar heated particle suspensions through a balanced program of analytical and experimental investigations. The use of small particles as solar absorbers is discussed and spectral extinction efficiencies are calculated from Mie theory for various particle sizes. An equation for calculating the heat transfer from a particle to the surrounding gas at arbitrary Knudsen number is developed. The experimental section outlines the current laboratory studies of direct radiant heating that utilizes a high intensity radiant source to simulate concentrated sunlight. Some preliminary experimental results are presented.