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Review of the two-step H2O/CO2 splitting solar thermochemical cycle based on Zn/ZnO redox reactions

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2010
Author Loutzenhiser P., Meier A., Steinfeld A.,
Project Reduction of CO2 via two-step solar thermochemical cycles using redox pairs - thermodynamics, kinetics, and reactor technolog
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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Materials
Volume (Issue) 3(11)
Page(s) 4922 - 4938
Title of proceedings Materials
DOI doi:10.3390/ma3114922

Open Access

Type of Open Access Website


This article provides a comprehensive overview of the work to date on the two‑step solar H2O and/or CO2 splitting thermochemical cycles with Zn/ZnO redox reactions to produce H2 and/or CO, i.e., synthesis gas—the precursor to renewable liquid hydrocarbon fuels. The two-step cycle encompasses: (1) The endothermic dissociation of ZnO to Zn and O2 using concentrated solar energy as the source for high-temperature process heat; and (2) the non-solar exothermic oxidation of Zn with H2O/CO2 to generate H2/CO, respectively; the resulting ZnO is then recycled to the first step. An outline of the underlying science and the technological advances in solar reactor engineering is provided along with life cycle and economic analyses.