top of page

Synhelion Inaugurates World's First Industrial Solar Fuels Plant

Swiss Sun-to-Liquid technology developer Synhelion today announced the inauguration of the world’s first industrial-scale plant to produce synthetic fuels using solar heat.

Named DAWN, the facility is located in the town of Juelich in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and consists of a 20-metre-high solar tower and a mirror field. It has the capacity to produce several thousand litres of fuel annually and is expected to begin operation later this year.

On-site, the facility will produce synthetic crude oil, known as syncrude, which will then be processed into certified fuels in a conventional oil refinery. The resulting solar fuels, including solar kerosene for aviation, solar gasoline and solar diesel for road transportation and shipping, are fully compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure globally, the company noted.

According to Synhelion, the launch of this project marks the first time a plant demonstrates the entire technology chain from concentrated sunlight to synthetic liquid fuel on an industrial scale. It expects the renewable fuel produced with this technology to help defossilise the transportation sector, particularly in aviation.

Synhelion, which was established in 2016 as a spin-off from ETH Zurich, plans to start the construction of its first commercial plant in Spain next year. There, it expects to produce around 1,000 tonnes of fuel per year.

Ultimately, the company intends to achieve an annual production volume of around one million tonnes of solar fuel within ten years.

“As strategic partners of Synhelion, Lufthansa Group and SWISS as investor are proud to support the market introduction of solar fuels and congratulate Synhelion on this extraordinary achievement,” commented Heike Birlenbach, Chief Commercial Officer of Swiss International Air Lines.


Related News

bottom of page