Printer Friendly

Sun-powered, long-distance chemistry.

Sun-powered, long-distance chemistry

Israeli researchers have successfully tested a device that converts solar energy into chemical energy, part of a proposed chemical system for transporting energy economically over long distances. Designed and built by the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., the device combines a solar collector with a chemical reactor.

The collector concentrates sunlight to vaporize sodium metal. The hot metal vapor is then conducted to the chemical reactor, where it condenses and releases heat to drive a chemical reaction between methane and carbon dioxide. The products are hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which can be transported as room-temperature gases. Piping these gases instead of a hot fluid reduces the possibility of significant heat losses and circumvents the need for heavy insulation. At their destination, the gases can be converted back into a hot fluid and used to heat buildings or generate electricity.

Last year, Sandia completed its initial laboratory tests on the concept, using electric heaters as sources of heat. The recent field tests, on a 10-times-larger scale and with concentrated sunlight, took place in a solar furnace at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:research on device that converts solar energy into chemical energy
Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 2, 1988
Words:189
Previous Article:A new family of stable quasicrystals.
Next Article:Offbeat learning methods off target.
Topics:


Related Articles
Solar protons keep ozone models honest.
Solar cells that work in the dark.
New polymers harvest light to do chemistry.
Making concentrated solar juice affordable.
R.I.P. Solar Max: the satellite's last days.
Microchip power from a shrunken fuel cell.
A star in the greenhouse; can the sun dampen the predicted global warming?
Space '93.
Thin-film solar cells boost efficiency.
New year in space; NASA zeros in on planet earth.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters