Much of combustion research focuses on reducing soot particulates in emissions. However, current research at San Diego State University (SDSU) Combustion and Solar Energy Laboratory (CSEL) is underway to develop a high temperature solar receiver which will utilize carbon nanoparticles as a solar absorption medium. To produce carbon nanoparticles for the small particle heat exchange receiver (SPHER), a lab-scale carbon particle generator (CPG) has been built and tested. The CPG is a heated ceramic tube reactor with a set point wall temperature of 1100-1300°C operating at 5-6 bar pressure. Natural gas and nitrogen are fed to the CPG where natural gas undergoes pyrolysis resulting in carbon particles. The gas-particle mixture is met downstream with dilution air and sent to the lab scale solar receiver. To predict soot yield and general trends in CPG performance, a model has been setup in Reaction Design CHEMKIN-PRO software. One of the primary goals of this research is to accurately measure particle properties. Mean particle diameter, size distribution, and index of refraction are calculated using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and a Diesel Particulate Scatterometer (DPS). Filter samples taken during experimentation are analyzed to obtain a particle size distribution with SEM images processed in ImageJ software. These results are compared with the DPS, which calculates the particle size distribution and the index of refraction from light scattering using Mie theory. For testing with the lab scale receiver, a particle diameter range of 200-500 nm is desired. Test conditions are varied to understand effects of operating parameters on particle size and the ability to obtain the size range. Analysis of particle loading is the other important metric for this research. Particle loading is measured downstream of the CPG outlet and dilution air mixing point. The air-particle mixture flows through an extinction tube where opacity of the mixture is measured with a 532 nm laser and detector. Beer's law is then used to calculate particle loading. The CPG needs to produce a certain particle loading for a corresponding receiver test. By obtaining the particle loading in the system, the reaction conversion to solid carbon in the CPG can be calculated to measure the efficiency of the CPG. To predict trends in reaction conversion and particle size from experimentation, the CHEMKIN-PRO computer model for the CPG is run for various flow rates and wall temperature profiles. These predictions were a reason for testing at higher wall set point temperatures. Based on these research goals, it was shown that the CPG consistently produces a mean particle diameter of 200-400 nm at the conditions tested, fitting perfectly inside the desired range. This led to successful lab scale SPHER testing which produced a 10-point efficiency increase and 150°C temperature difference with particles present. Also, at 3 g/s dilution air flow rate, an efficiency of 80% at an outlet temperature above 800°C was obtained. Promise was shown at higher CPG experimental temperatures to produce higher reaction conversion, both experimentally and in the model. However, based on wall temperature data taken during experimentation, it is apparent that the CPG needs to have multiple heating zones with separate temperature controllers in order to have an isothermal zone rather than a parabolic temperature profile. As for the computer model, it predicted much higher reaction conversion at higher temperature. The mass fraction of fuel in the inlet stream was shown to not affect conversion while increasing residence time led to increasing conversion. Particle size distribution in the model was far off and showed a bimodal distribution for one of the statistical methods. Using the results from experimentation and modeling, a preliminary CPG design is presented that will operate in a 5MWth receiver system.