Recycling of hazardous solid waste material using high-temperature solar process heat. 2. Reactor design and experimentation

Environ Sci Technol. 2003 Jan 1;37(1):165-70. doi: 10.1021/es020056o.


A novel high-temperature solar chemical reactor is proposed for the thermal recycling of hazardous solid waste material using concentrated solar power. It features two cavities in series, with the inner one functioning as the solar absorber and the outer one functioning as the reaction chamber. The solar reactor can handle thermochemical processes at temperatures above 1,300 K involving multiphases and controlled atmospheres. It further allows for batch or continuous mode of operation and for easy adjustment of the residence time of the reactants to match the kinetics of the reaction. A 10-kW solar reactor prototype was designed and tested for the carbothermic reduction of electric arc furnace dusts (EAFD). The reactor was subjected to mean solar flux intensities of 2,000 kW m(-2) and operated in both batch and continuous mode within the temperature range of 1,120-1,400 K. Extraction of over 90% of the toxic compounds originally contained in the EAFD was achieved while the condensable products of the off-gas contained mainly Zn, Pb, and Cl. The use of concentrated solar energy as the source of process heat offers the possibility of converting hazardous solid waste material into valuable commodities for processes in closed and sustainable material cycles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis
  • Hazardous Waste*
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis
  • Solar Energy*
  • Temperature


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Metals, Heavy