Reactors and methods for solar thermochemical reactions are disclosed.
Embodiments of reactors include at least two distinct reactor chambers
between which there is at least a pressure differential. In embodiments,
reactive particles are exchanged between chambers during a reaction cycle
to thermally reduce the particles at first conditions and oxidize the
particles at second conditions to produce chemical work from heat. In
embodiments, chambers of a reactor are coupled to a heat exchanger to
pre-heat the reactive particles prior to direct exposure to thermal
energy with heat transferred from reduced reactive particles as the
particles are oppositely conveyed between the thermal reduction chamber
and the fuel production chamber. In an embodiment, particle conveyance is
in part provided by an elevator which may further function as a heat
Embodiments of the invention were developed under Contract No.
DE-AC04-94AL85000 between Sandia Corporation and the U.S. Department of
Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in this