It is universally accepted that the future of the car is electric. Plug-in vehicles are expected to reach a market share of 50% by 2025 and over 70% by 2030. However, that still leaves other forms of transport and a sizeable proportion of cars whose CO2 emissions could also be reduced. One solution for such vehicles could be the adoption of synthetic fuels produced from CO2 using renewable energy.
The Swiss start-up Synhelion – an ETH Zurich spin-off – is developing a very interesting solution: its process uses not solar electricity, but solar heat. Solar fuels are produced from the heat of the sun, which drives a thermochemical reaction. In the reactor, carbon dioxide and water are converted into syngas, which is then processed into fuels such as solar petrol or solar diesel. The solar heat captured during the day can be stored in cost-effective thermal energy storage systems, enabling fuels to be produced around the clock. This storage option makes the solar fuel facilities autonomous and independent of a grid, enabling them to be rolled out rapidly and on a large scale. Economies of scale could bring fuel production costs down swiftly.
New AMAG climate and innovation fund
Today AMAG Group Ltd announced that it will buy a stake in Synhelion. It is the first investment of AMAG’s new climate and innovation fund. In 2021, the AMAG Group defined its course for the future and presented its climate strategy: to reduce, eliminate and, if necessary, offset. AMAG aims to become climate-neutral in its business operations by 2025 and also has the ambition to achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2040. It has established its own climate fund to support initiatives and start-ups that contribute to decarbonisation, starting with immediate effect. The fund comprises around CHF 10 million; the focus is on Swiss start-ups that are developing new business models in the field of sustainable mobility and decarbonisation.
(Press release / SK)
Picture: Dr. Philipp Furler, CEO and Founder of Synhelion, Dr. Gianluca Ambrosetti, CEO and Founder of Synhelion, and Helmut Ruhl, CEO of AMAG Group Ltd at the signing of the contract at Swiss Classic World, Lucerne.