The reversible chemical reaction of Ca(OH)2/CaO appears to be attractive for storage of solar thermal energy, in view of the nonpolluting and nontoxic nature of the reactants. This paper presents some data on thermal decomposition of calcium hydroxide pellets along with its additives of aluminum, aluminum hydroxide, zinc, and copper. The addition of aluminum and zinc powder enhanced the rate of decomposition considerably at 450° C, but copper had no effect. Considerations on the effect of additives are also discussed in some detail, though their effects are not established with certainty. There is some evidence that heat transfer into the pellet, and the number of potential nucleation sites due to thermal stresses, influence the kinetics and mechanism of decomposition.

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