Doctoral Dissertations


Han Zhang

Keywords and Phrases

Chemical energy storage; Computation fluid dynamics; Heat and mass transfer; Radiative transfer; Solar energy; Solar thermochemical reactor


"Solar thermochemical processes are attractive since they have the advantages of storing solar energy as chemical fuels. In this dissertation, a partition-cavity solar thermochemical reactor was developed, and the heat and mass transfer of the solar thermochemical processes were numerically analyzed in this directly-irradiated reactor.

The reduction reaction of two-step CeO2/CeO2-δ solar redox process was investigated using the coupling of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and discrete element method (DEM). The reduction rate was studied based on the catalyst textual properties and the reaction condition. The results revealed that the increase of catalyst specific surface area and the rise of the catalyst temperature are favorable to the reduction of CeO2.

The geometric factors of the partition-cavity solar thermochemical reactor were investigated with the uniform and concentrated radiant fluxes. The results indicated that a thinner catalyst with an appropriate partition gap size is beneficial for the temperature distribution. The result of the CeO2 endothermic reduction showed that the larger catalyst loading quantity can derive a higher solar-to-fuel efficiency.

The different periodic open cellular structured (POCS) catalysts were studied in the solar thermochemical reactor for the dry reforming of methane (DRM) process. The heat transfer results revealed that the conduction of the strut is dominant for the temperature distribution in the catalyst region. The diversified shapes of POCS have little influences on the methane conversion under the assumption of equal active sites. Microkinetics with site reactions is promising for a further detailed study"--Abstract, page iv.


Smith, Joseph D.

Committee Member(s)

Al-Dahhan, Muthanna H.
Ludlow, Douglas K.
Liang, Xinhua
Dogan, Fatih


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering


Wayne L. Laufer Charitable Foundation


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Modeling of ceria reduction in a solar thermochemical reactor via DEM method
  • Investigating influences of geometric factors on a solar thermochemical reactor for two-step carbon dioxide splitting via CFD models
  • Simulation of structural effects of monolith catalyst on dry reforming of methane in a solar thermochemical reactor


xvi, 159 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references.


© 2019 Han Zhang, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11564

Electronic OCLC #