SOLPART interviews: DLR in charge of the rotary kiln reactor… but not only!

SOLPART interviews: DLR in charge of the rotary kiln reactor… but not only!

Meet the SOLPART team in our interview series in video: Stefania Tescari, researcher at DLR (German Aerospace Centre) answers 6 questions about her role in the project, challenges, achievements and the way ahead.

Interview at Odeillo solar furnace, France

Question: Tell us a bit about yourself…

Answer: I am Stefania Tescari, I am working for DLR for 9 years now. I am Italian, I studied physics in Italy then went to Romania, then I came to Perpignan, in France, to do my Master in Solar Energy and my master’s thesis here in Odeillo, at the solar furnace. Then I did my PhD in Perpignan again, in the same lab here in France, and after this, I left for a Postdoc in Germany where I’m still working. Every time, I’m very happy about being here again at the solar furnace!

Describe your role in the SOLPART project.

I was coordinating the DLR team only, so just from one partner. We are a very intercontinental team. There are people from India, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Colombia now also. One of the main parts was the rotary kiln, so one of the two reactors that was studied at the beginning to see if it could treat the material. It was also found that we could make it work at the end with also cohesive particles, with cement raw mill, so a very successful campaign. We also dealt with the transport of particles and the storage system as well with a techno-economic analysis we are working now.

Why did you decide to take part in this project?

One of the reasons is that the topic is very interesting. I think it’s a very challenging topic that was studied for many years but if it works, it could make a huge change in normal life. I think that all energy-intensive industries are not using so much renewable energy yet and CSP is one of the very good options for using it. Also, I was very happy to collaborate again with PROMES and to be able to couple again our work at DLR with CNRS into solar labs. Moreover, it was a very good opportunity to work with companies that are dealing with the topic for many years.

What are the most challenging aspects of your role?

The most challenging aspect is to enter in the topic fast enough to find which are the interesting points to study, have a very fast idea on what was done until now and where is the point where we can go deep enough to exactly really make the knowledge grow. As our role was a bit spread, I think that was one of the points. Also, the communication, who tried to exactly take all the interests together and make everyone happy with our work, scientifically and industrially at the same time.

What success has been achieved within your task?

First, I think one of the things was the experimental campaign with the rotary kiln where we could treat the cement for several days, one after the other, without an interruption. Then the technical economic analysis, which is giving already some very interesting results, but this is together with the other partners.

What should be the next step after the end of the project?

I hope to keep working on the same topic. Or, in the best option, with the same consortium to be able to collaborate again, maybe to try a scale-up of the reactor. Or on one side solving the problems that we found until now, and on the other side try the scale-up to have maybe a first prototype where we can show to people that the technology works.