Solar Thermochemical Fuel Production

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Gainesville, Florida
Project Term:
12/19/2011 - 07/15/2016

Technology Description:

The University of Florida is developing a windowless high-temperature chemical reactor that converts concentrated solar thermal energy to syngas, which can be used to produce gasoline. The overarching project goal is lowering the cost of the solar thermochemical production of syngas for clean and synthetic hydrocarbon fuels like petroleum. The team will develop processes that rely on water and recycled CO2 as the sole feed-stock, and concentrated solar radiation as the sole energy source, to power the reactor to produce fuel efficiently. Successful large-scale deployment of this solar thermochemical fuel production could substantially improve our national and economic security by replacing imported oil with domestically produced solar fuels.

Potential Impact:

If successful, the University of Florida's solar thermochemical reactor and supporting processes would help the U.S. create a sustainable, domestic fuel supply that produces fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline.


Greater use of thermal fuels would reduce U.S. reliance on fossil fuels—strengthening U.S. energy security.


Thermal fuel technologies will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions and can also reduce fossil fuel consumption—helping curb production of CO2 emissions that contribute to global climate change, while enabling the development of transformational technologies for a range of applications.


Thermal fuels could decrease the dependence on foreign oil imports, spurring economic growth in new thermal fuel-related industries in the U.S.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jason Rugolo
Project Contact:
Dr. David Hahn
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Project Contact Email:

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