University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering


Edward A. Fletcher

Professor Emeritus


Ph.D. 1952, Chemistry, Purdue University
B.S. 1948, Chemistry, Wayne University



Major research interests are in applied thermodynamics; high-temperature solar thermal, thermochemical, and electrochemical processes; and combustion.

Studies include thermochemical production of clean energy sources; hydrogen and oxygen from water; hydrogen and sulfur from hydrogen sulfide; the thermal and electrothermal reduction of metals from their ores using sunlight as the prime energy source; and storing solar energy by means of thermochemical transformations, such as biomass and coal gasification. These experimental studies use a 4.2 meter highly concentrating solar furnace.

Analytical studies of thermal and thermochemical processes emphasize applications of the second law of thermodynamics to pinpoint sources of irreversibilities in complicated systems. The objective is to lay the scientific foundations for the development of a new kind of solar technology.