A two-phase, multi-dimensional, multi-physics computational model based on the finite-element method is presented for simulating the solar thermochemical water splitting process in which hydrogen gas is produced from steam. The model takes into account heat transfer, gas-phase diffusion and advection of neutral species in open channels and through pores of the porous reactant layer, solid-state transport of charged species, and redox chemical reactions. Preliminary results (temperature distribution, velocity field, and species concentration) computed from the gas-phase transport dominating (i.e., resistance to solid-state transport is taken to be negligible) regime are presented to illustrate the utility of the model. Efforts are underway to improve the present first-generation model by incorporating solid-state transport with more realistic kinetic model, internal radiation, reactant-layer support, and temperature-dependent properties.

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