Synhelion and partners receive $3.2 million from U.S. government


Lugano/Monterrey/Albuquerque – The U.S. Department of Energy is providing $3.2 million to Synhelion and two partners. With Synhelion’s process heat from concentrated solar energy, the partners aim to decarbonize cement production.

Synhelion, a global pioneer in carbon neutral solar fuels based in Lugano, can expand the scope of its process heat from sunlight in the United States and scale its technology: The U.S. Department of Energy is providing Synhelion and its partners, global Mexican building materials company CEMEX and the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico and California, according to a Media release 3.2 million dollars for their joint project Solar MEAD. It aims to decarbonize cement production.

The partners want to produce the cement clinker required for this on a large scale without fossil fuels with the help of Synhelion technology. They already succeeded in this in laboratory tests last year. Clinker is produced by melting limestone, clay and other materials in a rotary kiln at nearly 1500 degrees Celsius. To date, fossil fuels have been used to heat the furnace.

Synhelion is the first company to use concentrated solar radiation to generate sustainable process heat above 1500 degrees. This makes it possible for the first time to run industrial processes such as the production of fuels or cement with solar heat.

The spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich(ETH) had demonstrated the feasibility of its technology in 2019 with a mini-refinery on the roof of ETH. Synhelion is currently building the first industrial plant for solar kerosene in Jülich, Germany. The first commercial production plant is scheduled to come on stream in Spain in 2025. The company works with international partners such as Eni, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, SMS Group, Wood, AMAG and Zurich Airport. mm