Swiss Air Lines, also referred to as SWISS, are poised to take the first step toward contributing to a more sustainable aviation industry with the adoption of syngas to fuel its aircraft.
Manufactured by Synhelion, a Swiss-based solar fuel company, syngas is the product of converting CO2 into synthetic fuel using the power of solar energy.
SWISS has said the collaboration with Synhelion will mark an important moment in the future of aviation by offering a carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels.
Effectively turning sunlight and CO2 into fuel, Synhelion has found the key to manufacturing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from renewable energy sources.
The process behind the production of this solar fuel, or syngas, utilises the sun’s reflected rays to create high-temperature heat. This concentrated heat is then combined with water and CO2 inside a thermochemical reactor, converting this mixture into syngas via a two-stage process at temperatures up to 1,500°C.
A major advantage to this type of unique technology is that the fuel, when burnt, will only produce as much CO2 as was used during the manufacturing process. As a result, this new form of fuel plays a significant role in reducing carbon emissions, or “decarbonising”, air transport.
Why solar fuels?
Solar fuels are synthetic fuels produced from solar energy. They retain the same properties as fossil fuels but are manufactured using sustainable methods. Therefore, they are the most efficient, economically viable, and environmentally friendly fuel option for long-distance transportation.
Synhelion strongly believes in the versatility of its syngas and the potential for solar fuel to replace all types of fossil fuels in the near future. From jet fuel for planes, marine fuel for ships, and diesel for trucks, solar fuels provide an eco-friendly solution that offers a more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.
When will SWISS take flight using syngas?
With work to begin this year, Synhelion will build the world-first industrial solar fuel production facility in Julich, Germany. SWISS is set to lead the charge in making the switch to syngas in 2023.
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