This special issue of the ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering is devoted to concentrated solar chemistry, fuels, and power. The special issue is organized by the ASME Solar Energy Division Executive Committee, with Guest Editors from around the world that are well known in the field of concentrated solar. For 10 years, the annual ASME Energy Sustainability Conference has been a meeting place for scientists and engineers from industry, academia, and government to discuss progress and form collaborations in solar energy research and development. As is the intent of the ASME Energy Sustainability Conference, this special issue seeks to highlight innovative technologies, research and design advances, and solutions in the field of concentrated solar energy which bring us further along the path toward energy sustainability.

The Guest Editors

Christian Sattler studied chemistry and received his Ph.D. from the University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany in 1997. He is the head of the Department of Solar Chemical Engineering of the German Aerospace Center's Institute of Solar Research and Professor for solar fuel production at TU Dresden. The key area of his work is the production of fuels, especially hydrogen by solar thermo- and photochemical processes. He has published over 170 refereed journal papers, and has received 18 patents. He serves as vice president of the association Hydrogen Europe Research, is a member of the European Joint Technology Initiative for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, and is a national representative to tasks of the IEA's SolarPACES and Hydrogen Implementing Agreements. As a former chair of the ASME Solar Energy Division, he is a member at large of the ASME Energy Conversion and Storage Leadership team and a member of the ASME Clean Energy Technology Advisory Panel.

Tatsuya Kodama has worked in the field of concentrating solar thermochemistry for more than 20 years, developing technologies for two-step water splitting cycles, solar coal gasification, and solar methane reforming. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, under the direction of Professor Yutaka Tamaura. Professor Kodama has authored over 100 research papers, in addition to numerous international patents in the field of concentrating solar thermochemistry. From 2010 to 2013, Professor Kodama lead one of the largest (nearly 2 million USD) Japanese R&D projects on solar thermochemical fuels supported by the Japanese Cabinet Office. Professor Kodama is well known for his innovative and impressive new 100 kW beam-down solar concentrating system, which was used to demonstrate a solar driven particle fluidized bed reactor to split H2O and CO2 into H2 and CO, and to gasify coal or biomass to produce syngas. Professor Kodama established the Japanese CSP Society (www.iae.or.jp/scste/) in 2013, together with the Institute of Applied Energy (www.iae.or.jp/e/), and he currently serves as Chair.

Ellen Stechel is Co-Director of LightWorks, Professor of Practice in the School of Molecular Sciences, and Senior Sustainability Scientist at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU). Her career has afforded her opportunities to build and coordinate research programs at a national laboratory, in industry, at a U.S. government agency, and now in higher education at ASU. Professor Stechel coordinates programs for both basic and applied research, policy, and commercialization of emerging technologies, and on multidisciplinary R&D strategy and management efforts. She has held and holds numerous positions of an advisory or editorial capacity nationally and internationally, and has published over 100 peer reviewed articles. Her current research focuses on materials and systems design for concentrating solar technologies for production of sustainable liquid hydrocarbon fuels from carbon dioxide and water, clean water production, and applications in thermochemical energy storage.

Nathan Siegel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Bucknell University, a position he has held since 2011. He received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, and over the course of his career has worked on various energy conversion technologies including hydrogen fuel cells, gas turbines, and nuclear fusion reactors. Before joining Bucknell, Professor Siegel worked in the Solar Technologies group at Sandia National Labs for seven years. During his career at Sandia, Professor Siegel helped to develop a range of solar energy technologies including particle central receivers, solar thermochemical reactors, and thermal energy storage systems. His current research interests include thermal transport and storage in metallic phase change media, and fresh water production from atmospheric humidity. Professor Siegel also served as an Associate Editor in the area of concentrated solar thermal power for the ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. As a professor at Bucknell, Nate enjoys teaching courses on heat transfer, thermodynamics, concentrated solar power, and solar energy technologies, where he is able to effectively bring his real world experience on these topics into the classroom.

In This Special Issue

This special issue covers a range of topics from state-of-the-art solar receiver/reactor designs for power, chemical processing, and fuels, to advances in materials for solar driven thermal and chemical processes. The issue is comprised of insightful numerical and experimental results that highlight progress in the use of concentrated solar energy for production of fuels and power. Contributing authors also participated in and presented their work at the 2018 Energy Sustainability Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, June 24–28, 2018.

The issue begins with four intriguing essays contributed by the Guest Editors, which provide their unique perspectives as experts in the field of concentrated solar. We sincerely thank the authors, reviewers, Guest Editors, and ASME production staff for making this special issue possible.