Power-to-liquid: 200 liters of fuel from solar power and the air's carbon dioxide

Production of liquid fuels from regenerative electric power is a major component of the energy turnaround. The first 200 l of synthetic fuel have now been produced from solar energy and the air's carbon dioxide by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis under the SOLETAIR project. Here, INERATEC, a spinoff of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), cooperates with Finnish partners. The mobile chemical pilot plant that can be used decentrally produces gasoline, diesel, and kerosene from regenerative hydrogen and carbon dioxide. It is so compact that it fits into a shipping container.

"Success of the energy transition needs innovations generated by research extending from fundamentals to applications," says Professor Thomas Hirth, KIT Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs. "The success of SOLETAIR reflects the importance of international research networks that tackle global challenges and develop applicable solutions."

The pilot plant has a production capacity of up to 80 l of gasoline per day. In the first campaign now completed, about 200 l of fuel were produced in several phases to study the optimum synthesis process, possibilities of using the heat produced, and product properties. The compact plant is designed for decentralized production, fits into a shipping container, and can be extended modularly.

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