Synhelion, a developer of solar fuels, and INERATEC, a manufacturer of chemical reactor technologies, are partnering to to scale up the production of solar fuels as replacement for fossil fuels for transportation.
While electrification is a viable option for many sectors, fuel-intensive industries such as aviation will continue to require liquid fuels with a high energy density, the partners said. This requirement means that a sustainable substitute for fossil-based kerosene is needed to decarbonize aviation.
Synhelion tests its solar fuel technology at the Jülich Solar Tower.
Synhelion uses a proprietary process that converts solar heat into syngas. This syngas is then fed into INERATEC’s modular synthesis plant and converted into liquid fuels via the Fischer-Tropsch process. By combining these technologies, Synhelion and INERATEC can produce clean solar fuels that offer an economically viable, efficient, and scalable substitute for fossil fuels. These are fully compatible with existing global fuel infrastructure.
Synhelion is currently implementing an industrial-scale plant to produce sustainable kerosene from solar energy in Jülich in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and has chosen INERATEC as partner for the fuel production from the solar syngas.
Fischer-Tropsch synthesis unit by INERATEC
The modularity and cost-efficiency of both technologies are key drivers to demonstrate the profitable and scalable production of solar fuels. After that, both partners plan to rapidly scale their fuel production with support from industry partners such as SWISS International Air Lines and Lufthansa Group.
INERATEC provides modular chemical plants for Power-to-X and Gas-to-Liquid applications and supplies sustainable fuels and products. The company, founded in 2016, has already implemented industrial-scale power-to-liquid plants at German sites to boost the availability of sustainable fuels and chemicals in various transport sectors such as aviation.