High-temperature solar reforming of methane with CO2 is investigated using a directly solar-irradiated absorber subjected to a solar mean flux level above 400kWm−2 (the peak flux of about 700kWm−2). The new type of catalytically-activated ceramic foam absorber — an Ru/Ni-Mg-O catalyzed SiC foam absorber — was prepared and its activity was tested in a laboratory-scale volumetric receiver-reactor with a transparent (quartz) window by using a sun-simulator. Compared to conventional Rh/Al2O3 catalyzed SiC foam absorber, this new catalytic absorber is more cost-effective and is found to exhibit a superior reaction performance at the high solar flux or at high temperatures, especially above 950 °C. This new absorber will be applied in solar receiver-reactor systems for converting concentrated high solar fluxes to chemical fuels via endothermic natural-gas reforming at the high temperatures.

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