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DOE awards $2.7M to U Florida, Synhelion to support production of hydrogen from concentrated solar

Synhelion and its partner the University of Florida announced that their joint project has been awarded US$2.7 million from the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). The project aims to accelerate the large-scale development and deployment of concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technology to produce green hydrogen for industrial decarbonization and electric power generation and storage.

The project aims to enable large-scale production of green hydrogen from solar energy by leveraging concentrating solar power (CSP) infrastructure and solar heat to split water (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2).

Synhelion’s technology delivers high-temperature solar process heat beyond 1,500 °C, enabling the decarbonization of industrial processes and the production of sustainable fuels.


Close-up of Synhelion’s proprietary solar receiver, which delivers high-temperature process heat beyond 1,500 °C.

For this project, Synhelion and University of Florida (UF) will jointly develop a solar reactor powered by high-temperature solar thermal energy to produce hydrogen gas from water and sunlight. The hydrogen produced can then be stored, transported, and utilized on demand, for example in transportation sectors that are focused on decarbonizing their industries.

The production costs of green hydrogen remain a major barrier to wide-scale adoption in the transportation sector. The project team will work to improve the efficiency and cost of solar thermochemical hydrogen production by taking advantage of new redox materials. Redox materials are reactive materials that enable the chemical reactions in the reactor.

The joint project of University of Florida and Synhelion was awarded as part of the SETO’s Fiscal Year 2022 CSP Research, Development, and Demonstration funding program, an effort to lower the cost of CSP technologies and create new market opportunities for the industry, with the goal of enabling substantial deployment of CSP to decarbonize the electricity grid and energy system.

It is one of several projects that will enable concentrating solar-thermal technologies with thermal energy storage to be integrated with high-temperature industrial processes to produce economically important products, such as cement, fuels, and other chemicals.


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