My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Sunfire GmbH Fischer–Tropsch SynGas Power to Liquid Technology produces Diesel, Kerosene and Gasoline

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sunfire GmbH Fischer–Tropsch SynGas Power to Liquid Technology produces Diesel, Kerosene and Gasoline

“This rig enables us to prove technical feasibility on an industrial scale. It is now a matter of regulatory factors falling into place in a way which gives investors a sufficient level of planning reliability. Once that has occurred it will be possible to commence the step-by-step substitution of fossil fuels. If we want to achieve fuel autonomy in the long term, we need to get started today”

Sunfire CTO Christian von Olshausen commenting on their "Power-to-Liquid" technology to convert H2O and CO2 into Synthetic petrol, diesel and kerosene

One of the problems of using alternative Fuels such as Bio-Methane or ethanol is that you have to modify the vehicle's engine to burn the new Fuels as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “Auto LPG as a Motor Vehicle Fuel”.

But what if you could make Synthetic long-chain Hydrocarbons i.e. Synthetic Diesel, Kerosene and Gasoline from Water (H20(l)) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) on an industrial scale?


Well, this is exactly the breakthrough that Dresden, Germany based Sunfire GmbH has achieved with their Power to Liquid Technology that allows them convert Water (H20(l)) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) to Synthetic  Diesel, Kerosene and Gasoline as announced in November 2014 as stated in the article “'Miracle' tech turns water into fuel”, published November 18, 2014 4:34 PM PST by Michelle Starr, CNET News.

This is actually a more advanced version of the Fischer–Tropsch Process that was perfected by the individual companies involved in the SOLAR-JET Project in May 2014 as chronicled in my blog article entitled “SOLAR-JET Project create Kerosene from Syngas - How Fresnel Lens in SynGas for Fischer–Tropsch Process means Fossil Fuel a Renewable Resource by 2017”.

Like the SOLAR-JET Project, Sunfire GmbH Power to Liquid Technology Process involves converting Water (H20(l)), specifically Water Vapour (H2O(g)) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) into Carbon Monoxide (CO(g)), Hydrogen (H2(g))  and Oxygen (O2(g)). Then the Oxygen (O2(g)) is then removed to leave the Carbon Monoxide (CO(g)) and Hydrogen (H2(g)), a mixture referred to as Syngas.

The reason why it’s called Synthetic  long-chain Hydrocarbon is because its not derived from the Catalytic Cracking of Oil Naturally extracted from the Earth from Oil Drilling. Chemically though, it' the same as Diesel, Kerosene and Gasoline Catalytic Cracked from Naturally extracted Oil.

 It just has a lot less Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) and Sulphur (S(s)) impurities, making this Process very “sweet” as the people in the Oil Industry would say. So how does the Sunfire GmbH Power to Liquid Technology Process differ from the SOLAR-JET Project's Method? It's all about the use of Energy and a little clever Reduction Chemistry!

Sunfire GmbH Power to Liquid Technology - Solar Powered SOEC Hydrogen Reduction  

To achieve this, Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) and Water Vapour (H2O(g)) have to be disassociated into Carbon Monoxide (CO(g)), Hydrogen (H2(g))  and Oxygen (O2(g)) at temperatures of about 2200°C as shown in the equation below:

CO2(g) + H2O(g) →H2(g) + CO(g) + O2(g)

In the Sunfire GmbH Power to Liquid Technology Process, the Process of dissociating the Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) and Water Vapour (H2O(g)) is done separately, differentiating itself from the SOLAR-JET Project which does it in a single chamber and uses Cerium (IV) Oxide (CeO2) commercially known as Ceria (CeO2) to remove the Oxygen (O2(g)).


Instead of directly using the sunlight to disassociate the Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) and Water Vapour (H2O(g)), Sunlight is instead converted to Electricity  and used with a SOEC (Solid Oxide Electrolyser Cells). The SOEC disassociates the Water Vapour (H2O(g)) into Hydrogen (H2(g))  and Oxygen (O2(g)) and removes the Oxygen (O2(g)) from the Process.

2H2O(g) → 2H2(g) + O2(g)

The Hydrogen reduced for this initial Process is then used to reduce Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) harvested from the atmosphere or Waste Gas from a Industrial Plant that has been sequestering Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) to make Dry Ice or Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) removed from the making of Bio-Methane as described in my blog article entitled “GENeco Bio-Bus runs on Bio-Methane - How 10% of UK's Heating from Human Organic Waste Alone makes Shit worthwhile as GOJ Bio-Fuel Revolution need”.

That Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) is then reduced using the Hydrogen (H2(g)) from the previous SOEC Process to Carbon Monoxide (CO(g)) as per the equation below:

CO2(g) + H2(g) → CO(g) + H2O(g)

The remaining Hydrogen (H2(g)) and Carbon Monoxide (CO(g)) are then combined to produce a Syngas mixture. This is then fed into the Fischer–Tropsch Process to produce various long chain Hydrocarbons e.g. Synthetic Diesel, Kerosene and Gasoline.


Sunfire GmbH, whose Power to Liquid Technology Process was funded partly from public funding received from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, claims the Process is 70% efficient as they also recycle waste heat from the Process to create more Steam for the SOEC section of the Process.

More interestingly, this Process can find use for some 3.2 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2(g)) and produce roughly a barrel of Fuel per day, making this not just as breakthrough, but a solution combined with the well-known Fischer–Tropsch Process to the coming problem of Oil Shortage.

Whether or not the Oil Barons will accept Sunfire GmbH, whose Power to Liquid Technology as a new source of Synthetic Diesel, Kerosene and Gasoline that promises to be a game changer, at least in Germany, where the SOLAR-JET Project in May 2014 also took place, remains to be seen.


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