Solar Upgrading of Hydrocarbons
Hydrocarbon fuels can be upgraded in endothermic processes by various heat sources. In other words, the calorific value of a liquid (bio-)fuel can be increased by solar thermal input. Gaseous fuels can similarly be solar-upgraded in this way (e.g. solar reforming or cracking of methane biogas). One example of this is the conversion of methane to methanol using concentrated sunlight. The source of methane can be biogas or syngas. Methanol is a fuel that is liquid at room temperature and can be burned in an internal combustion engine. It is increasingly popular in China for vehicle propulsion.
Related pages on OSE Wiki
- Wikipedia: Fossil Fuel Reforming
- Report from SolarPaces (comprehensive): Solar Fuels from Concentrated Sunlight
- Solar Technology Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)
- "New solar reactor technology to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels"
- paper: "Solar Upgrading of Fuels for Generation of Electricity"