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A re-analysis of the ceria-based solar-thermochemical process recently presented by Haile, Steinfeld and coworkers (Science, 2010, 330, 1797–1801) demonstrates that the experimental efficiency is at least a factor of three lower than previously claimed. An evaluation of the theoretical efficiency points out fundamental limitations of the process that are based on small changes in stoichiometry and the requirement for large amounts of purge gas.
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