Solar fuels could contribute to solving one of the most relevant current energy challenges: the switch to a renewable transportation system. In particular, solar fuels could play a key role in making aviation and heavy-duty transport renewable while –as expected– relying on liquid fuels. In a recent work by researchers from the Systems Analysis Unit of IMDEA Energy, in collaboration with researchers from Bauhaus Luftfahrt within the framework of the SUN-to-LIQUID project* (grant no. 654408), the economic, environmental and social feasibility of a system producing solar jet fuel from CO2 and H2O was evaluated, considering alternative locations for a hypothetical plant. Overall, it is concluded that the evaluated system has the potential to supply sustainable fuels to aviation in very large amounts, especially when taking into account the use of renewable electricity and CO2 directly captured from the air.
(*) An integrated techno-economic, environmental and social assessment of the solar thermochemical fuel pathway. Christoph Falter, Antonio Valente, Antoine Habersetzer, Diego Iribarren, Javier Dufour. Sustainable Energy & Fuels Vol. 4, August 2020, 3992-4002. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0SE00179A
More information: Diego Iribarren, senior researcher, Systems Analysis Unit, email@example.com
Solar plant at IMDEA Energy, associated with the European project SUN-to-LIQUID