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SOLAR-JET: Solar chemical reactor demonstration and Optimization for Long-term Availability of Renewable JET fuel


​SOLAR-JET is a collaborative research project that aims to ascertain the feasibility and potential for producing kerosene from concentrated sunlight, CO2 captured from air, and water.

Research & Development

Value-chain step
Fuel production

Type of pathway
Solar fuel

Starting time and duration
2011 - 2015

Research organisations, fuel producers

Regional scope

Involved countries


The SOLAR-JET project was launched in 2011 and completed in 2015, and received €2.2 million of European Union funding from the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).

The core of the SOLAR-JET project is a two-step solar thermochemical process. In a first step, carbon dioxide and water are converted in a synthesis gas (a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide) in a high-temperature solar reactor containing metal-oxide based materials. The syngas is then converted into kerosene using the established "Fischer-Tropsch" process.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the full process at laboratory scale and further assess the technology gaps, as well as the technological and economic scalability.

SOLAR-JET scientific approach includes the following steps:

  • Definition of an assessment framework to estimate the substitution potential of kerosene and identify critical technology gaps;
  • Design and manufacturing of a solar chemical reactor to produce the syngas;
  • Development of a detailed modeling capability of heat transfer coupled with chemical reaction, allowing optimization of the system and scaling studies;
  • Demonstration of the whole process through the production of the first solar jet fuel;
  • An analysis of the technological potential and economic perspectives.

ETH Zürich, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Shell Global Solutions, Shell Research, ARTTIC


Achievements to date
  • First ever production of synthesized "solar" jet fuel in April 2014: Link
  • Record energy conversion efficiency for solar thermochemical syngas production: Link
  • Results on climate impact and economic feasibility of solar jet fuel: Link
  • Received the First aireg-Award in November 2015: Link
  • In January 2016: Start of follow-up EU-Horizon2020 project SUN-to-LIQUID: Integrated solar-thermochemical synthesis of liquid hydrocarbon fuels under Grant Agreement nr. 654408
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