Home > Events > 2019 > SUN-to-LIQUID: A pioneering project producing solar fuel is visited by Master students in Madrid

SUN-to-LIQUID: A pioneering project producing solar fuel is visited by Master students in Madrid

IMDEA Energy is operating a unique solar experimental facility consisting of 169 heliostats that concentrates solar radiation onto a solar reactor located on top of a tower at 16-m height. The solar field occupies a site of 2500 m2 ceded by the Municipality of Móstoles and located adjacent to the Institute IMDEA Energy in the Technology Park of Móstoles. The heliostat field has been specially designed to fulfill the challenging specifications of the solar reactor that requires to operate at temperatures up to 1,500ºC, with very high solar flux above 2,500kW/m2, that means to concentrate more than 2,500 times the solar radiation directly coming from the Sun at terrestrial ground level. The solar reactor absorbs 50kW of concentrated solar light impinging on a reticulated porous material made of CeO2 that is located inside the illuminated cavity. The material undergoes alternating reduction and oxidation thermal cycles. During the reduction step the material releases oxygen and then re-oxidizes after reacting with a mixture of CO2 and H2O leading to syngas as outlet stream. The syngas is pressurized downstream and converted to liquid fuels in a catalytic Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) process. The results of the SUN-to-LIQUID project will have a noticeable impact in the future of the aviation sector, where decarbonized liquid fuels are a must to reach the emissions decrease projected by the year 2050.

Photo: (Top Left) Visit students University Rey Juan Carlos. (Top Right) Visit students Polytechnic University of Madrid. (Bottom) Visit students Spain's School for Industrial Organisation

Among the different dissemination activities carried out within the SUN-to-LIQUID project, it should be highlighted the high dedication devoted to training and education events with students from Universities located in Madrid. In particular, during March and April 2019, the facility has been visited by students of different Masters on Renewable Energy and Industrial Technologies. The presentation of the project to Master students is found of great importance to make awareness of the new solar-driven technology to new generations of engineers and practitioners that might be involved in the future in the transition to clean fuels in transport.

On March 1st, 2019, SUN-to-LIQUID facility received the visit of 9 students of the Master on Industrial Technologies of the University Rey Juan Carlos, supervised by Prof. Javier Dufour, who were particularly interested in the integration of the F-T process with a solar syngas. Some days later, on March 5th there was a visit of 12 students of the Master on Renewable Energy and Environment (ERMA) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid and on April 8th 2019 another visit took place by 23 students of the Master on Renewable Energy and Energy Market (MERME) of the Spain’s School for Industrial Organization (EOI), both of them supervised by Prof. Manuel Romero. ERMA and MERME students have coursed specific studies on solar concentration for power generation and chemicals production.

SUN-to-LIQUID is a project funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 654408, and the consortium of partners is formed by Bauhaus Luftfahrt (Coordinator); Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zuerich; Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; Institute IMDEA Energy; HyGear Technology and Services; Abengoa Energía and ARTTIC (www.sun-to-liquid.eu).

Contact: Manuel Romero, Deputy Director of IMDEA Energy and researcher of the SUN-to-LIQUID project  (manuel.romero@imdea.org)


Event Date: 
Thursday, April 11, 2019