Solar-to-jet-fuel system readies for takeoff

Aug. 5, 2022
Water vapor, carbon dioxide, and concentrated sunlight can now yield kerosene, Payal Dhar reports for IEEE Spectrum.

ZURICH - As climate change edges from crisis to emergency, the aviation sector looks set to miss its 2050 goal of net-zero emissions. In the five years preceding the pandemic, the top four U.S. airlines—American, Delta, Southwest, and United—saw a 15 percent increase in the use of jet fuel. Despite continual improvements in engine efficiencies, that number is projected to keep rising, Payal Dhar reports for IEEE SpectrumContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

5 August 2022 - In the summary of a report noting a successful demonstration of producing solar kerosene, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich say: "An alternative to conventional kerosene derived from petroleum is kerosene synthesized from syngas—a specific mixture of H2 and CO—via the established Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis process. The technological challenge, however, is to produce renewable syngas from H2O and CO2 using solar energy.

They continue, "The solar-driven thermochemical splitting of H2O and CO2 via a two-step metal oxide redox cycle can meet this challenge.2 Such a process offers a thermodynamically favorable pathway to syngas production because it uses the entire solar spectrum as the source of high-temperature process heat for effecting the thermochemical conversion, and it does so with high reaction rates and potentially high efficiencies. An additional advantage of the solar redox cycle compared with other solar approaches is its ability to co-split H2O and CO2 simultaneously or separately and therefore control the quality (both purity and stoichiometry) of the syngas in situ, consequently obtaining a tailored mixture of H2 and CO suitable for FT synthesis.

Read the report directly, please click here.

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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