Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

A Thermodynamic and Cost Analysis of Solar Syngas From the Zinc/Zinc-Oxide Cycle

[+] Author Affiliations
Julia Haltiwanger Nicodemus, Morgan McGuinness, Rijan Maharjan

Lafayette College, Easton, PA

Paper No. ES2014-6389, pp. V002T03A001; 11 pages
  • ASME 2014 8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2014 12th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 2: Economic, Environmental, and Policy Aspects of Alternate Energy; Fuels and Infrastructure, Biofuels and Energy Storage; High Performance Buildings; Solar Buildings, Including Solar Climate Control/Heating/Cooling; Sustainable Cities and Communities, Including Transportation; Thermofluid Analysis of Energy Systems, Including Exergy and Thermoeconomics
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, June 30–July 2, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4587-5
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


We present a thermodynamic and cost analysis of synthesis gas (syngas) production by the Zn/ZnO solar thermochemical fuel production cycle. A mass, energy and entropy balance over each step of the Zn/ZnO syngas production cycle is presented. The production of CO and H2 is considered simultaneously across the range of possible stoichiometric combinations and the effects of irreversibilities due to both recombination in the quenching process following dissociation of ZnO and incomplete conversion in the fuel production step are explored. In the cost analysis, continuous functions for each cost component are presented, allowing estimated costs of syngas fuel produced at plants between 50 and 500MWth. For a solar concentration ratio of 10000, a dissociation temperature of 2300K, and a CO fraction in the syngas of 1/3, the maximum cycle efficiency is 39% for an ideal case in which there is no recombination in the quencher, complete conversion in the oxidizer, and maximum heat recovery. In a 100MWth plant, the cost to produce syngas would be $0.025/MJ for this ideal case. The effect of heat recuperation, recombination in the quencher, and incomplete conversion on efficiency and cost are explored. The effect of plant size and feedstock costs on the cost of solar syngas are also explored. The results underscore the importance improving quencher and oxidizer processes to reduce costs. However, even assuming the ideal case, the predicted cost of solar syngas is 5.5 times more expensive than natural gas on an energy basis. The process will therefore require incentive policies that support early implementation in order to become economically competitive.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Solar energy , Syngas , Cycles



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In