Methods for carrying out high temperature reactions such as biomass pyrolysis or gasification using solar energy. The biomass particles are rapidly heated in a solar thermal entrainment reactor. The residence time of the particles in the reactor can be 5 seconds or less. The biomass particles may be directly or indirectly heated depending on the reactor design. Metal oxide particles can be fed into the reactor concurrently with the biomass particles, allowing carbothermic reduction of the metal oxide particles by biomass pyrolysis products. The reduced metal oxide particles can be reacted with steam to produce hydrogen in a subsequent process step.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The invention was made with Government support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship program. The United States government may have certain rights in the invention.