CO2 reforming of CH4 by solar energy is a promising solution to the problems of energy shortage and global warming, by converting two greenhouse gases into fuel. Reticulated porous foam supports are promising candidates for solar-driven carbon dioxide reforming of methane (CRM) reactions due to their favorable thermal conductivity, superior mechanical strength, and high gas permeability. Here, the axial and radial parameters of the porous foam are co-optimized to enhance the solar absorption and CRM reaction. The optimal Ni foam catalyst parameters are obtained by combining the physical model simulation with the genetic algorithm. The light-fuel efficiency of optimized homogeneous porous is up to 46.47%. The optimization structures of the graded pore size show disparate light absorption strategies in the radial direction for better adaptation to Gaussian-distributed concentrated solar energy, and light-to-fuel efficiencies are up to 55.0% and 52.2% respectively. This work analyzes the effects of graded porous foam support on solar energy absorption and chemical reactions, which opens new routes to the design of efficient porous foam catalysts for better adaptation to Gaussian-distributed light-driven CRM reactions.
Keywords CO2 reforming of CH4, solar fuel, optimization of porous foam, genetic algorithm