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A hybrid solar system could help increase the efficiency and eco-friendliness of natural gas power plants while also creating a synthetic fuel for vehicles.
The system will feature a parabolic mirror that will focus sunlight on a small chemical reactor lined with narrow channels containing natural gas. A catalyst will break down the molecules of the sunlight-warmed gas to create a mixture of carbon dioxide and hydrogen called syngas (synthesis gas). The waste heat from this reaction will be captured by a heat exchanger that will send it back to the reactor, boosting the process until 60 percent of the sunlight being converted into energy.