By Monit Khanna

The reactor eventually receives around 2,500 suns’ worth of energy or around 50 kilowatts of solar thermal powerThe heat is channelled to push a two-step thermochemical redox cycle. Water and pure CO2 are injected into a ceria-based redox reaction that turns them simultaneously into hydrogen and carbon monoxide.Since it’s all being done in a single chamber, scientists can tweak the rate of water and carbon dioxide to manage the exact composition of the syngas in real-time

A novel solar thermal power plant in Spain is able to produce carbon-neutral and sustainable diesel and jet fuel by absorbing carbon dioxide, water and sunlight.

Solar-Powered Tower Makes Carbon-Neutral Jet Fuel Using Just CO2, Water, And Sunlight

While fuel consumption on a commercial airliner is still in gargantuan proportions, the report highlights that synthetic fuel can be mixed with regular fuel and try to reduce overall emissions in any way possible. 

ETH Professor Aldo Steinfeld, the corresponding author of the research paper explains, “We are the first to demonstrate the entire thermochemical process chain from water and CO2 to kerosene in a fully-integrated solar tower system. This solar tower fuel plant was operated with a setup relevant to industrial implementation, setting a technological milestone toward the production of sustainable aviation fuels. The solar tower fuel plant described here represents a viable pathway to global-scale implementation of solar fuel production.”