The Soletair demo plant will produce renewable fuels and chemicals from CO2. It comprises four separate units: 1) a solar power plant; 2) equipment for separating CO2 and water from the air; 3) a section that uses electrolysis to produce hydrogen; and 4) synthesis equipment for producing a crude-oil substitute from carbon dioxide and hydrogen.
The pilot plant, developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), is coupled to LUT’s solar power plant in Lappeenranta, Finland. VTT and LUT will test the plant during the summer to demonstrate the technical performance of the overall process and to produce 200 L of fuels and other hydrocarbons for research purposes. Information gathered during the project will be useful for the commercialization of the technology. After the piloting phase, it is planned to use synthesis units in EU projects.
VTT and LUT have invested one million euros in the equipment. The research is being funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, and the companies ABB, Zurich, Switzerland; ENE Solar Systems, Helsinki, Finland; Green Energy Finland, Lappeenranta, Finland; Proventia, Oulunsalo, Finland; Hydrocell, Järvenpää, Finland; Ineratec, Karlsruhe, Germany, Woikoski, Järvenpää, Finland; Gasum, Espoo, Finland; and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi).