Heliogen and Dimensional Energy Announce Partnership to Produce Carbon-Free Aviation Fuel From Concentrated Sunlight and Green Hydrogen

Published on: 09 August 2022
by KnowESG

Heliogen, Inc., a leading provider of AI-enabled concentrated solar energy technology, has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with sustainable fuels company Dimensional Energy to jointly produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at Heliogen's concentrated solar thermal demonstration facility in Lancaster, California.

This first-of-its-kind partnership intends to establish a reserve of jet fuel from sunlight and air to enable the aviation industry's rapid decarbonisation.

The companies will collaborate to deploy Heliogen's proprietary, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered HelioHeat technology to directly convert sunlight into thermal energy in the form of high-temperature steam and air, which will be used to produce green hydrogen for Dimensional Energy's Reactor platform. 

Hydrogen will be produced via the previously announced successful demonstration of concentrated solar technology by Heliogen. As part of the collaboration between Heliogen and Dimensional Energy, the LOI stipulates the construction of a fully integrated, drop-in-ready SAF capable of producing 1 barrel per day. 

Over the next ten years, the parties anticipate that a demonstration project will be the first stage in developing a pipeline for about 3 million barrels of fuel.

As previously stated, Dimensional Energy has secured a commercial arrangement to supply United Airlines with 300 million gallons of SAF over 20 years.

The aviation industry is responsible for about 3 per cent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions, and the United Nations predicts that by 2050, carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft will triple. 

SAF is a direct replacement for conventional jet fuel, and its production from carbon-free energy sources, such as the sun, can facilitate the rapid decarbonisation of the global aviation sector. 

According to ResearchandMarkets.com, the SAF market will increase from $219 million in 2021 to $15.7 billion in 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 60.8%.

Bill Gross, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, of Heliogen, said: 

"At Heliogen, our mission is to decarbonise the industry by delivering advanced renewable energy systems that are more affordable than fossil fuels, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Dimensional Energy to advance the decarbonisation of the aviation industry. 

“Dimensional’s flexible thermal utilisation platform is the most scalable and cost-effective solution, and when combined with Heliogen’s transformative concentrated solar technology, this partnership brings us one crucial step closer to a future where we can fly planes on fuel created by sunlight and air – not fossil fuels.”

Jason Salfi, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dimensional Energy, said:

"This collaboration with Heliogen represents a key development in our vision of a world free from fossil fuel dependency. Leveraging Heliogen’s breakthrough technology to use sunlight to produce SAF will help demonstrate the potential for a truly carbon-free, more affordable, and drop-in replacement for conventional jet fuel.”

Source: Heliogen

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