Cleaner pathways of hydrogen, carbon nano-materials and metals production via solar thermal processing

Nesrin Ozalp, Michael Epstein, Abraham Kogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This paper describes various solar thermochemical processes for the production of hydrogen, carbon nano particles, industrial grade carbon black, and metals with substantially reduced CO2 emission footprint. The paper introduces an innovative approach of a three-dimensional volumetric production of carbon nano particles via thermal cracking of methane gained by carbon seeding as an alternative to the existing two dimensional modes. The paper also describes an alternative pathway for hydrogen production via three consecutive solar thermochemical processes, namely, solar cracking of methane, solar carbo-reduction of ZnO and CO reduction of CdO, providing long term storage of solar energy. Finally, the paper provides an example solar windowed reactor for clean production of hydrogen, and it presents numerical analysis of the solar reactor based on computational fluid dynamics results, simulating one of the major problems with natural gas cracking in solar reactors, namely, carbon contamination of the transparent window and clogging of the reactor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-907
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


  • Cadmium
  • Carbon contamination
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Hydrogen
  • Solar cracking
  • Solar thermochemistry
  • ZnO

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