Nanostructured Solar Reactor Materials

PhD Title:

Development of Nanostructured Solar Reactor Materials for Fuel Production

As solar energy is available in excess relative to current rates of energy consumption, effective conversion of this renewable yet intermittent resource into a transportable and dispatchable chemical fuel may contribute to the viability of a sustainable energy future. However, low conversion efficiencies, particularly with CO2 reduction, as well as utilisation of precious materials have limited the practical generation of solar fuels. Research has shown that by using a solar cavity-receiver reactor; combining oxygen uptake and release capacity of cerium oxide, and; facile catalysis at elevated temperatures to thermo-chemically dissociate CO2 and H2O, CO and H2 can be achieved.

The project's main objective is to develop a high surface to volume ratio nanostructure Cerium Oxide-based solar conversion system for efficient thermo-chemical dissociation of H2O and CO2 for solar-thermal fuel production.