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Sunfire partners with Total on highly efficient hydrogen technology; E-CO2MET

Germany-based Sunfire has signed a cooperation agreement with the French energy major Total SA. Sunfire will provide a megawatt-scale high temperature electrolyzer for use in industrial environments as part of the E-CO2MET research and development project.


The company will also be responsible for the integration at the site as well as the operation and maintenance of the electrolyzer, which will be the first step for the industrial-scale production of synthetic methanol from renewables and industrial concentrated CO2 from the Total Raffinerie Mitteldeutschland GmbH.

Total has chosen the most efficient technology available on the market—the modular Sunfire-HyLink 200 system. Based on solid-oxide cells, the system uses industrial waste heat (steam) for increased efficiency.

With this method, the use of valuable green electricity can be reduced. It is the most efficient process on the market for converting electricity into hydrogen. The high efficiency of more than 80% also significantly reduces the overall cost of the integrated process.

The production of green methanol and hydrogen from renewable energies offers opportunities for the global energy and transport transition.

Total is delighted to develop efficient technologies to re-use CO2 to chemicals, materials and fuels. Carbon capture, utilisation and storage is going to play an essential role in achieving carbon neutrality without curbing economic and social growth.

—Marie-Noelle Semeria, Senior Vice President, Group Chief Technology Officer at Total

The cooperation heralds a new era for the industrial use of renewable hydrogen and methanol in refineries.

The use of our high-temperature electrolyzer at one of the largest oil companies in the world confirms our years of hard work driving decarbonization in large-scale industries. This technology can become the core building block for energy sectors that cannot source electricity directly from renewables. With the transformation into renewable gases and fuels and the use of existing infrastructures, we can make the transport sector and the chemical industry climate-neutral.

—Nils Aldag, Managing Director, Sunfire

During the collaboration with Total, Sunfire’s electrolyzer will be involved in various research and development projects. Various operative studies will be carried out at its location in Leuna to evaluate the performance of the system, as well as in relation to volatile renewable energy supply. The evaluation of the results will be undertaken by Total according to quality and qualification guidelines for new technologies.

Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, the venture capital arm of Total SA, has been a minority equity shareholder in Sunfire since 2014.



"..uses industrial waste heat (steam) for increased efficiency..."

Roger Pham

Low cost low grade solar heat can also be used to produce steam if solar electricity is to be used to make hydrogen. The waste heat from the solid oxide electrolyzer can also be recycled to make steam.

Roger Brown

If one is hoping for an all renewables energy future one has to ask where the "waste heat" is going to come from in such a future. Heat from solar or wind will be more expensive than waste heat from fossil sources.


You can get the heat from an SOFC, it makes heat and electricity from bio methane, then you can make fuels in the SOEC using renewable electricity.

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