Transient heat transfer is analyzed numerically for a directly-irradiated solar thermochemical reactor realizing a ceria-based partial redox cycle for production of synthesis gas from water and carbon dioxide. The numerical model couples conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer modes to the chemical reaction, while accounting for heat recovery in the solid and gas phases. The main results include temperatures, extents of the reduction and oxidation reactions, and reactor efficiency. The numerical model is used to guide the design of the reactor by investigating the variations of the main results with the geometric parameters, material properties, and solar concentration ratio.
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