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Proceedings Paper

High-power high-brightness solar laser approach for renewable Mg recovery from MgO
Author(s): Joana Almeida; Dawei Liang
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Paper Abstract

Hydrogen and heat energy from the reaction of magnesium with water can be used for engines and fuel cells. However, at least 4000 K is necessary for magnesium oxide reduction. Ultra high brightness solar-pumped lasers become essential to make this renewable process technology efficient and economically competitive. 2.3 mg/kJ solar laser - induced magnesium production efficiency has been achieved by T. Yabe et al., in 2012, by focusing a 53 W solar laser beam on a mixture of MgO with Si as reducing agent. This result is however far from the 12.1 mg/kJ attained with 2 kW/mm2 CO2 laser beam. To improve substantially the solar laser - induced Mg production efficiency, a simple high-power, high brightness Nd:YAG solar laser pumping approach is proposed. The solar radiation is both collected and concentrated by four Fresnel lenses, and redirected towards a Nd:YAG laser head by four plane folding mirrors. A fused-silica secondary concentrator is used to compress the highly concentrated solar radiation to a laser rod. Optimum pumping conditions and laser resonator parameters are found through ZEMAX© and LASCAD© numerical analysis. High-record solar laser beam brightness figure of merit - defined as the ratio between laser power and the product of Mx 2 and My 2 - of 10.5 W is numerically achieved, being 5.5 times higher than the previous record and about 1600 times more than that of the most powerful Nd:YAG solar laser. 8340 W/mm2 is numerically achieved at its focal region, which can quadruple the magnesium production efficiency with clean energy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 August 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9286, Second International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics, 92861P (22 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2063442
Show Author Affiliations
Joana Almeida, Univ. Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
Dawei Liang, Univ. Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9286:
Second International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics
Manuel Filipe P. C. Martins Costa; Rogério Nunes Nogueira, Editor(s)

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