SUNlight-to-LIQUID: Integrated solar-thermochemical synthesis of liquid hydrocarbon fuels
Liquid hydrocarbon fuels are ideal energy carriers for the transportation sector thanks to their exceptionally high energy density. In addition, the fuels do not require any changes in the existing global infrastructure.
Currently, virtually all renewable hydrocarbon fuels originate from biomass. Their feasibility to meet the global fuel demand and their environmental impact are controversial.
The SUN-to-LIQUID technology establishes a radically different non-biomass non-fossil path to synthesize renewable liquid hydrocarbon fuels from abundant feedstocks of H2O, CO2 and solar energy. Concentrated solar radiation drives a thermochemical redox cycle, which inherently operates at high temperatures and utilises the full solar spectrum. Thereby, it provides a favourable path to solar fuel production with high energy conversion efficiency and, consequently, improves its economic competitiveness.
Recently, the first-ever production of solar jet fuel has been experimentally demonstrated at the laboratory scale. SUN-to-LIQUID aims to advance this solar fuel technology to the next field phase, with expected key innovations. The project is completing an integrated fuel production chain that will be experimentally validated at the pre-commercial scale and with a record high energy conversion efficiency.
The ambition of SUN-to-LIQUID is to advance solar fuels well beyond the state of the art and to guide the further scale-up towards a reliable basis for competitive industrial exploitation.