Alliance Formed to Commercialize Solar Reforming Technologies to Convert Waste CO2 into Synthetic Fuel
|Sandia has been working on “Sunshine to Petrol” technologies for a number of years. Source: Sandia. Click to enlarge.|
An alliance of industry, academic and government organizations has formed to commercialize technologies that will utilize concentrated solar energy to convert waste CO2 into synthetic fuels. (Earlier post.)
The alliance team members include Sandia National Laboratories, Renewable Energy Institute International (REII), Pacific Renewable Fuels, Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne (a United Technologies Division), Quanta Services, Desert Research Institute and Clean Energy Systems. In addition, commercial partners have signed on to advance work on the first round of commercial plants.
|“The alliance team members believe that the best way to accomplish CO2 reduction goals is to commercialize platforms that will utilize CO2 as a carbon feedstock for the production of valuable products, such as diesel fuel.”|
|—Dr. Dennis Schuetzle, president of REII|
The project team has received a first phase of funding from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to demonstrate these technologies.
The solar reforming technology platform will be co-located next to industrial facilities that have waste CO2 streams such as coal power plants, natural gas processing facilities, ethanol plants, cement production facilities and other stationary sources of CO2.
Sandia began working on research, development and demonstration of solar reforming technologies more than 20 years ago. We are pleased for the opportunity to extend these concepts in a public/private partnership that we expect will accelerate commercialization to accomplish our joint goals of CO2 emissions reduction and domestic fuel production.
—Ellen Stechel, recycling CO2 program development lead for Sandia National Laboratories
In August 2009, at an ACS meeting symposium focused on the conversion and utilization of CO2 for fuels and chemicals, Sandia researches noted that significant advances have been made in the field of solar thermochemical CO2-splitting technologies utilizing yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ)-supported ferrite composites. (Earlier post.)
A solar reforming system is currently being demonstrated in Sacramento, Calif., and demonstrations will continue both at Sandia’s facilities in New Mexico and at a power plant project site in Bakersfield, Calif. Planning for the first round of commercial plants is under way at several locations in the US The project team anticipates that deployment of the first commercial plants can begin in 2013.