Energy Citations Database (ECD) - - Document #6194009

Fully two decades ago, our United States Department of Energy demonstrated that Solar energy could be utilized to effect the large-scale recycling of Carbon Dioxide.

We have documented for you previously the USDOE's "Green Freedom"(r) CO2-recycling technology, and one or two others similar, wherein Solar energy, whether in the form of light or heat, is harnessed to such a task; and, herein is further information concerning what we take to be related and precedent technology; whereby Solar heat is engaged to drive the "bi-reforming" reaction between Carbon Dioxide and Methane, to form a synthesis gas suitable for catalytic condensation into useful and needed hydrocarbons.


In our subject document, the only full copy of the report we were able to access was, even though completed in 1990, only a photo-type image file, much like some WWII-era documents that have become available concerning the extensive Axis Coal liquefaction industry we earlier documented for you, which our computer software is unable to manage and manipulate.

Rather than spend hours hand-copying and re-typing, we thus limit our excerpts to the Abstract.

The full document is much more revealing, and more than strongly indicates that follow-on work should, and likely would, continue.

Comment follows excerpts from:

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"Solar Reforming of Methane in a Direct Absorption Catalytic Reactor on a Parabolic Dish

January, 1990

J.F. Muir, et. al., Sandia National Labs, NM; and, R. Buck, Germany

OSTI ID: 6194009; Legacy ID: DE91005054; Report: SAND-90-2674C; DOE Contract: AC04-76DP00789

Abstract: The concept of solar driven chemical reactions in a commercial-scale volumetric receiver/reactor on a parabolic concentrator was successfully demonstrated in the CAtalytically Enhanced Solar Absorption Receiver (CAESAR) test.

Solar reforming of methane (CH4) with carbon dioxide (CO2) was achieved ... .

The reactor was a catalytic volumetric absorber consisting of a multi-layered, porous alumina foam disk coated with rhodium (Rh) catalyst. The system was operated during both steady-state and solar transient (cloud passage) conditions.

The ... maximum methane conversion was 70%."


As we read the full document, we believe the chemistry, the reactions, involved to be very similar to those described in: WVU Recycle CO2 with Methane | Research & Development | News; wherein is detailed: "Methane Reforming with Carbon Dioxide; Edwin L. Kugler, et. al.; West Virginia University; Abstract: The reforming of methane with carbon dioxide for the production of synthesis gas.".

The end products of the CH4-CO2 reaction are similar, as well: Synthesis gas mixtures of Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide, suitable for catalytic condensation into liquid hydrocarbons.

But, since Solar energy is utilized to drive the process, it is also similar in concept to the technology reported in: Penn State Solar CO2 + H2O = Methane | Research & Development | News; which explains: "High-Rate Solar Photocatalytic Conversion of CO2 and Water Vapor to Hydrocarbon Fuels; Oomman K. Varghese, et. al.; The Pennsylvania State University. Abstract: Efficient solar conversion of carbon dioxide and water vapor to methane.".

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