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Sunlight as fuel

More than 70% of the global economy has undertaken to become climate-neutral between 2040 and 2060. Long-distance transport such as air travel, shipping and road freight transport will continue to be reliant on high-energy liquid fuel. For these sectors, solar fuel is the best solution for achieving net zero energy.

We see CO2 as a resource, not a waste product. Our technology closes the carbon cycle and provides a genuinely sustainable alternative with up to 70% reduction in C02 compared to fossil fuels.

RUAG looking into
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Scalability

The technology developed by Synhelion can be scaled quickly and independently. It has the potential to cover global fuel requirements several times over.

Efficiency

Synhelion provides the most energy- and cost-efficient solution for the production of synthetic fuels: reduced energy input thanks to fewer energy conversion steps, reduced land consumption and lower investment and operating costs than rival technologies.

Independence

The solar fuel production systems are self-sustaining, independent of mains power and use the most readily available energy source worldwide: the sun.

Contact

Platzhalter Ansprechpartner

Contact

Ulrich Fischer
Senior Project Manager Engineering
RUAG AG
Seetalstrasse 175
6032 Emmen

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More information on Synhelion
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  • Why the idea?
  • What is our value proposition?

Synhelion is an ETH spin-off that produces fuel from CO2, water and sunlight and thus creates a purely technical and sustainable carbon cycle.

Operating a mini refinery on the roof of the ETH Zurich, Synhelion produced the world’s first CO2-neutral fuel made from air and sunlight in 2019. Synhelion is now planning to demonstrate its scalability by 2023 with a first industrial system while simultaneously starting fuel production. Two commercial systems in Spain are planned for the period from 2023 to 2025. Synhelion will then be in a position to deliver synthetic fuels (kerosene, gasoline and diesel) in a significant volume. The aim is to ramp up production from 2025 with a view to covering half of Swiss kerosene requirements by 2030. 

Synhelion is very interested in establishing its innovative technology for sustainable fuel production as a leading solution on the market. In doing so, it aims to accelerate achievement of Switzerland’s CO2 reduction goals, provide the Confederation with possibilities for an improved and more self-sufficient fuel supply and, in particular, make a significant contribution to CO2-neutral air travel using the existing infrastructure.

As well as pursuing the development of this technology, Synhelion wants to establish its product as the most sustainable and cost-effective product on the market, and thus the most competitive solution to the production of sustainable aviation fuel, SAF. To reach this goal, Synhelion must understand the needs and roadmaps of the operators in addition to overcoming the technical, commercial and regulatory obstacles.

Against this backdrop of the federal administration, including the DDPS, needing to achieve CO2-neutrality by 2050, RUAG is currently developing a program on the theme of “CO2-neutral fuels”. The use of synthetic CO2-neutral fuels allows the continued operation of existing, petroleum-based equipment and infrastructures. For the DDPS, if implemented appropriately, this means that the contract can continue to be executed using the existing equipment and to the same extent despite the new regulatory requirements. This program fits perfectly with the RUAG strategy and means that new business models can be developed alongside the existing competencies.

As a technology partner of the Swiss Armed Forces, RUAG supports Synhelion in understanding the needs of the DDPS and the roadmap of the DDPS goes green transition. Based on the existing technical compliance as well as the commercial and ecological requirements, potential business cases are to be developed for both partners.