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Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS OF CONCENTRATED SOLAR PHOTONSA Report Prepared by the Committee on Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons Energy Engineering Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991
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Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is the president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This is a report of work supported by Contract No. XX-9-19012-1 from the Solar Energy Research Institute Division of the Midwest Research Institute through the U.S. Department of Energy to the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 91-62493 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04576-2 NAP S-415 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America
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Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons COMMITTEE ON POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS OF CONCENTRATED SOLAR PHOTONS ALLEN J. BARD Chairman, Department of Chemistry, University of Texas-Austin, Austin, Texas ADAM HELLER Vice-Chairman, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas-Austin, Austin, Texas J. LAMBERT BATES, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Battelle Memorial Institute, Richland, Washington ELSA M. GARMIRE, Center for Laser Studies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California ARTHUR L. GOLDSTEIN, Ionics, Incorporated, Watertown, Massachusetts JACK ST. CLAIR KILBY, Consultant, Dallas, Texas DAVID F. OLLIS, Department of Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina ADEL F. SAROFIM, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts NICK SERPONE, Department of Chemistry, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada MICHAEL A. TENHOVER, B.P. Research, Warrensville Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio VERONICA VAIDA, Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado National Research Council Staff KAMAL J. ARAJ, Study Director, Energy Engineering Board JAN C. KRONENBURG, Study Assistant (to February 1991)
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Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons ENERGY ENGINEERING BOARD JOHN A. TILLINGHAST Chairman, Tiltec, Portsmouth, New Hampshire DONALD B. ANTHONY, Bechtel Corporation, Houston, Texas RICHARD E. BALZHISER, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California BARBARA R. BARKOVICH, Barkovich and Yap, Consultants, San Rafael, California JOHN A. CASAZZA, CSA Energy Consultants, Arlington, Virginia RALPH C. CAVANAGH, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco, California DAVID E. COLE, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan H. M. (HUB) HUBBARD, Midwest Research Institute, Golden, Colorado ARTHUR E. HUMPHREY, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (to February 1991) CHARLES IMBRECHT, California Energy Commission, Sacramento, California CHARLES D. KOLSTAD, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois HENRY R. LINDEN, Gas Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois JAMES J. MARKOWSKY, American Electric Power Service Corporation, Columbus, Ohio (to February, 1991) SEYMOUR L. MEISEL, Mobile R&D Corporation (retired), Princeton, New Jersey DAVID L. MORRISON, The MITRE Corporation, McLean, Virginia MARC H. ROSS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan MAXINE L. SAVITZ, Garrett Ceramic Component Division, Torrance, California HAROLD H. SCHOBERT, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania GLEN A. SCHURMAN, Chevron Corporation (retired), San Francisco, California JON M. VEIGEL, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee BERTRAM WOLFE, GE Nuclear Energy, San Jose, California Staff ARCHIE L. WOOD, Executive Director, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems and Director, Energy Engineering Board (to January 1991) MAHADEVAN (DEV) MANI, Director, Energy Engineering Board KAMAL J. ARAJ, Senior Program Officer ROBERT COHEN, Senior Program Officer (retired) GEORGE LALOS, Senior Program Officer JAMES J. ZUCCHETTO, Senior Program Officer JUDITH A. AMRI, Administrative Coordinator THERESA M. FISHER, Administrative Secretary JAN C. KRONENBURG, Administrative Secretary (to February 1991) PHILOMINA MAMMEN, Administrative Secretary NANCY WHITNEY, Administrative Secretary
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Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons Preface The Committee on Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons was appointed by the National Research Council on May 7, 1990, to consider potential applications of concentrated solar energy in nonelectric areas (such as waste treatment, photochemical processes and materials processing); to review current work and assess the state of the art in these fields; and to recommend research needed for further development. The committee considered both technologies leading to applications (i.e., products or processes of commercial value) and research that might result in relevant discoveries. The committee recognizes that applications of solar energy may require many years to develop and that such applications will become more important as fossil fuels are depleted and environmental concerns become acute. To carry out its task, the committee held several meetings and convened a workshop. At its first meeting, on June 7–8, 1990, the committee was briefed by members of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Solar Energy Research Institute on past and current activities of DOE's Solar Thermal Technology Program and possible applications of concentrated sunlight. At the workshop, held November 7–9, 1990, in Golden, Colorado, a number of experts in areas of possible applications assessed the current state of the field and discussed technologies for which solar energy might be utilized. Speakers also discussed areas of fundamental research (e.g., in photo-chemistry and lasers). The proceedings of the workshop, which are being published separately, contain much of the background material that is used in the present report. Following the workshop, the committee held a meeting to discuss the proceedings and the outline of this report. In addition, committee members consulted with other experts in relevant fields. To review international research and development activities, the chairman attended a symposium on solar high temperature technologies in Davos, Switzerland, and another committee member and the study director visited several European research establishments. The committee drafted the report, with conclusions and recommendations, at its final meeting on February 7–9, 1991. The committee is grateful to the speakers and other participants at the workshop for their contributions and advice. We also acknowledge the assistance of Jan Kronenburg and Susanna Clarendon for their tireless efforts in handling the administrative matters of conducting the study and laboring through the many drafts of this report. Allen J. Bard, Chairman Committee on Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons
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Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons Contents LIST OF FIGURES ix LIST OF TABLES ix LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS x EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 General Recommendations 2 Specific Recommendations 2 1 INTRODUCTION 5 Genesis and Scope of the Study 5 Technical Background 5 Organization of the Study and Report 10 References 10 2 REVIEW AND EVALUATION OF VARIOUS APPLICATION AREAS 11 Water and Wastewater Treatment 11 Brief Description 11 Status of Technology 12 Economics 14 Assessment of Knowledge Base 15 Recommendations 16 References 17 Waste Treatment 18 Brief Description 18 Status of Technology 19 Assessment of the Knowledge Base 20 Recommendations 25 References 26 Materials Processing and Synthesis 27 Brief Description 27 Status of Technology 28 Potential Applications 29 Conclusions 30 Recommendations 30 References 31
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Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons Photochemical and Photobiological Synthesis 31 Brief description 31 Assessment of Knowledge Base 31 Recommendations 32 Conclusions 34 Notes and References 35 Solar Pumping of Lasers 35 Brief Description 35 Status of Technology 36 Assessment of Knowledge Base 37 Conclusions and Recommendations 38 Applications and Economics 39 References 40 Solar Fuels and Biomass Conversion 41 Background 41 Status of Technology 42 Competitive Technologies to Solar-Driven Fuels 44 Economic Analyses 44 An Industry's Experience in Solar Fuel Research 45 Development and Commercialization of New Technologies 45 Conclusions 46 Recommendations 46 References 46 Solar Air Conditioning 47 Brief Description 47 Recommendation 47 3 ORGANIZATION, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, PROGRAM DIRECTION, AND INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES 48 Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons 48 Program and Personnel Dimensions 48 Organizational and Institutional Aspects of Research on Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons 50 4 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 51 Introduction 51 General Recommendations 51 Personnel 51 Long-Term Fundamental Research 52 Market Analysis 52 User Facilities 53 Specific Recommendations 53 Water and Wastewater Treatment 53 Waste Treatment 53 Materials Synthesis and Processing 53 Photochemical Synthesis 54 Solar Pumping of Lasers 54 Solar Fuels and Biomass Conversion 54
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Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 55 B Committee Meetings and Activities 57 C List of European Visits 62 D Intensity Influence 64 E Pressure Dependence of Photochemical Reactions 67 F Knowledge Base and Status of Technology of Solar Fuels 69 LIST OF FIGURES 1-1 Solar thermal concepts 6 1-2 Spectral irradiance curves for direct sunlight extraterrestrially and at sea level with the sun directly overhead 8 2-1 Typical hazardous waste treatment costs 20 2-2 Effects of temperature and exposure to 95 suns on the decomposition 3,3',4,4' tetrachlorobiphenyl (3000 ppm) in air and on its fractional conversion to tetrachlorodibenzofuran 22 2-3 Simplified potential energy diagram for a hypothetical high-temperature photochemical reaction 23 2-4 Destruction of CH3Cl versus temperature 24 2-5 Price-volume correlation of various chemical compounds 32 2-6 Solar-pumped laser system 37 2-7 Flow diagram for hydrogen production technologies 42 3-1 Flow chart for project development 49 D-1 Illustration of calculation for configurations and concentrator 65 E-1 Three state of thermal-photolytic model 67 F-1 Diagram of a hybrid water-splitting system (Mark 5 and Mark 6) for the production of hydrogen and oxygen 71 F-2 A model scheme of the Yokohama Mark VII 72 F-3 Experimental setup for the thermolytic/electrolytic decomposition of water 73 F-4 Electrolysis with 600°C receiver versus S/I2 with a 900°C receiver 76 F-5 Electrolysis versus S/I2 high-temperature receiver 77 LIST OF TABLES 1-1 Typical Characteristics of Systems Concentrating Solar Photons 7 2-1 Commercial Hazardous Waste Treatment Costs 19 2-2 First and Second Law Efficiencies, Plant size, and Typical Costs of Solar Hydrogen 45 F-1 First Law (Energy) and Second Law (Exergy) Efficiencies for the Thermolysis/Electrolysis System and Related Costs 74
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Potential Applications of Concentrated Solar Photons LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS AM1 air mass 1 AOP advanced oxidation process CAESAR CAtalytically Enhanced Solar Absorption Receiver DCAR direct catalytic absorption reactor DOE Department of Energy EPA Environmental Protection Agency eV electron volt gpd gallon per day gpm gallon per minute GRI Gas Research Institute GJ gigajoule HTGR high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor IEA International Energy Agency kW kilowatt kWt kilowatt (thermal) LANL Los Alamos National Laboratory LLNL Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory MBMS molecular beam mass spectrometer MW megawatt NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology NRC National Research Council nm nanometer (= 10-9 m) ph photon ppm parts per million ptg per thousand gallons PV photovoltaic R&Dresearch and development SERI Solar Energy Research Institute SNL Sandia National Laboratories TCE trichloroethylene UV ultraviolet