A system for the continuous use and recapture of a catalyst in liquid, comprising: a generally vertical reactor having a reaction zone with generally downwardly flowing liquid, and a catalyst recovery chamber adjacent the reaction zone containing a catalyst consisting of buoyant particles. The liquid in the reaction zone flows downward at a rate which exceeds the speed of upward buoyant migration of catalyst particles in the liquid, whereby catalyst particles introduced into the liquid in the reaction zone are drawn downward with the liquid. A slow flow velocity flotation chamber disposed below the reaction zone is configured to recapture the catalyst particles and allow them to float back into the catalyst recovery chamber for recycling into the reaction zone, rather than being swept downstream. A novel 3-dimensionally adjustable solar reflector directs light into the reaction zone to induce desired photocatalytic reactions within the liquid in the reaction zone.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223, now Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.