Solar production of WO3: a green approach

H.I. Villafán-Vidales, A. Jiménez-González, A. Bautista-Orozco, C.A. Arancibia-Bulnes, C.A. Estrada.


The tungsten trioxide (WO3) is a promising material with important technologic and scientific applications, due to its electrochromic, gasochromic and photochromic properties. Usually, this material is synthesized following several routes, for example, sputtering, chemical deposition, sol-gel, hydrothermal, among others. However, these methods are complicated, have long processing times and use several chemicals with the possibility of keeping undesirable impurities. In this context, concentrated solar energy is an interesting and feasible option to process materials at a low cost and without greenhouse gas emissions. In this work, a simple and green synthesis method of WO3 by using the Solar Furnace of the Renewable Energy Institute of the National University of Mexico is presented. Tungsten oxide powder is obtained by means of tungsten electrodes in a high-temperature solar reaction chamber designed to work with concentrated solar energy under controlled conditions of the gas atmosphere. The oxidation reaction was carried out for three different temperatures: 600°C, 800°C and 1000°C, and for each temperature three different oxygen molar fractions were studied: 0.33, 0.41 and 1. Some results indicate the oxygen molar fraction does not affect the phase transformation and the WO3 triclinic was the most stable phase, appearing in all the temperature ranges and concentrations. The synthesis reported in this paper is presented as a green alternative in the development of processes for the synthesis of WO3, which promote renewable energy sources with very low greenhouse gas emissions and without toxic residuals.

Solar production of WO3: a green approach

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