- Energy; Materials Science
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In the present work, a prototype molten salt solar gasification reactor was demonstrated at the 2.2 kW scale using simulated concentrated solar radiation. The molten alkali carbonate salt offers the benefits of improved heat transfer, catalysis of gasification, reduced production of tars, and thermal stability for transient solar input. Utilizing cellulose as feedstock and carbon dioxide as oxidizer, the reactor achieved a solar efficiency of 30% and converted 47% of the carbon in a continuous process at 1218 K. Based on an energy balance on the reactor, we project efficiencies approaching 55% with future improvements to the reactor.