Jet Fuel from H2O, CO2, and Solar Energy

Aldo Steinfeld

The entire production chain for renewable kerosene obtained directly from sunlight, H2O, and CO2 has been experimentally demonstrated. The key component of the production process is a high-temperature solar reactor containing a reticulated porous ceramic (RPC) structure made of ceria, which enables the splitting of H2O and CO2 via a 2-step thermochemical redox cycle. In the 1st endothermic reduction step, ceria is reduced using concentrated solar radiation as the energy source of process heat. In the 2nd exothermic oxidation step, nonstoichiometric ceria reacts with H2O and/or CO2 to form H2 and/or CO - syngas - which is finally processed to kerosene by the Fischer-Tropsch process. The RPC features dual-scale porosity for enhanced heat/mass transport and rapid redox kinetics, while 500 consecutive redox cycles further validate material stability and structure robustness. Solar experimental runs with 3000x suns flux irradiation yielded 100% selectivity, 83% molar conversion, and 5.25% solar-to-fuel energy efficiency.

Friday, 11/17/17


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