May 30 2013
Zircar Zirconia, Inc., a global leader in high temperature insulation products, was chosen to manufacture custom alumina and ceria components by the California State University at Long Beach Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering for the construction this month of a solar powered reformer that will produce hydrogen or syngas from cerium oxide redox reactions.
Zircar Zirconia Inc. shipped 2 custom sets of alumina insulation boards, one is a solar collector that will manage the solar energy supplied by the SAIC Solar Concentrator Dish and the other set is a ceria felt, type CeF-100, lined reactor, where steam or steam and carbon dioxide are converted into pure hydrogen or syngas.
Zircar Zirconia alumina fiber boards excel at solving thermal management problems by providing rigid, machinable refractory materials for rapid proto-typing that outperform conventional alumina-silicate fiber boards.
“This project further strengthens our global position in the solar energy market,” said David Hoskins, sales manager at Zircar Zirconia, Inc.. “It is a another example of Zircar Zirconia drawing on its leading technical expertise in high temperature insulation to provide customized solutions with a fast turnaround that facilitate our customers technological growth.” Zircar has supplied custom machined, high temperature insulation components to both international and domestic university and national lab solar researchers since the 1990’s and its experience in supplying customized components with a short lead time was critical in winning this contract.
This project is funded by the Southern California Gas Company’s Engineering Scholars R&D Program. The overarching project goal is to harvest and store the sun's energy in chemical form via high temperature thermochemical conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to fuel--allowing the regions abundant and renewable solar energy to be easily transported and stored while also improving air quality.