EU-funded project SUN-to-LIQUID II launches

On November 1, 2023, leading European partner institutions from academia and industry launched the SUN-to-LIQUID II research project. This initiative will demonstrate the scalability and high efficiency of producing sustainable synthetic fuel from CO2, water, and sunlight. Synhelion is one of the industry partners for the project, providing the expertise for scaling up the prototype, developing the thermal energy storage system, and performing the exploitation analysis.

The project

The SUN-to-LIQUID II project builds on the success of its predecessor, the Horizon 2020 SUN-to-LIQUID project, which demonstrated on-sun solar-thermochemical fuel production at a 50-kW scale . The Sun-to-Liquid process is a breakthrough method to produce renewable synthetic fuel from CO2, water, and sunlight. It comprises a set of versatile technologies, including a mirror field, solar receiver, thermochemical reactor, and thermal energy storage.
The SUN-to-LIQUID II project aims to use the power of the sun to convert CO2 and water into syngas, without the input of biogenic carbon. Improved reactor material and minimized heat loss will enhance the energy efficiency of the process.

The partnership

The SUN-to-LIQUID II consortium consists of six partners: ETH Zürich, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Fundacion IMDEA Energía, Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V., HyGear BV, and Synhelion SA. This collaboration between research institutes and industry aims to bridge the gap between research and industrial applications in high-temperature sunlight-driven chemistry.

Synhelion’s role

As an industry leader in high-temperature solar chemistry, Synhelion holds exclusive licenses to commercialize the Sun-to-Liquid process. Within the SUN-to-LIQUID II project, Synhelion and its partners develop the highly innovative technology where concentrated solar radiation drives a two-step redox process to convert CO2 and water into syngas. This process has the potential to produce renewable synthetic fuels at highest efficiency without the input of biogenic carbon.
Currently, Synhelion is building DAWN, the world’s first industrial-scale solar fuel plant, in Jülich, Germany. DAWN combines proprietary concentrated solar technology with industrial reforming technology to convert biogenic methane, CO2, and water into syngas, which is then turned into jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline. This solar reforming process combines established with innovative technology, allowing for a faster market entry of carbon-neutral solar fuels. Building on the results of the SUN-to-LIQUID II project, Synhelion’s future plants will be able to produce solar fuels directly from CO2 and water.

For more detailed information, please refer to the project press release.

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