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SWISS to Become World’s First Airline to use Synhelion Solar Fuel

SWISS and Lufthansa Group have concluded a strategic collaboration with Synhelion to bring their ‘sun-to-liquid’ aviation fuel to market. Synhelion uses concentrated sunlight to produce carbon neutral kerosene.

Left to Right: Philipp Stocker, Pilot; Erin Beilharz, Lufthansa CleanTech Hub; Gianluca Ambrosetti, Co-CEO Synhelion; Dieter Vranckx, CEO SWISS; Carmen Murer, Head of Communications Synhelion; Jan Pechstein, Head of Corporate Emissions Management & SAF Lufthansa Group; Melanie Heiniger, Corporate Responsibility SWISS; Philipp Furler, Co-CEO Synhelion; Nadège von Hansen, Flight Attendant – Courtesy SWISS

On Tuesday (March 1, 2022), Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) announced that in partnership with the Lufthansa Group they have concluded a strategic collaboration agreement with ETH Zurich spinoff Synhelion to bring solar aviation fuel to market. SWISS will become the first airline in the world to use solar kerosene, which is produced by Synhelion using a ‘sun-to-liquid’ process, where concentrated sunlight is used to produce carbon neutral SAF. The novel procedure concentrates solar heat to manufacture syngas, which can then be synthesized into kerosene using standard industrial processes. By closing the fuel carbon cycle, the SAF will only produce as much CO2 when combusted as went into its production.

In Tuesday’s announcment, SWISS’ Chief Executive Officer, Dieter Vranckx, said,

“Our team-up with Synhelion is founded on our shared vision to make carbon-neutral flying in regular flight operations possible through the use of solar fuel. We are proud that SWISS will be the first airline in the world to fly with solar kerosene. In partnering with Synhelion, we are supporting Swiss innovation and are actively pursuing and promoting the development, the market introduction and the scaling-up of this highly promising technology for producing sustainable fuels.”

Also commenting on the new SAF collaboration, Synhelion’s Co-Founder and CEO, Dr. Philipp Furler, said,

“We believe in a globalized world connected by climate-friendly mobility. Our next-generation carbon-neutral solar kerosene is an economically and ecologically viable substitute for fossil fuels. The commitment of SWISS and the Lufthansa Group underlines the aviation sector’s keen interest in our solar fuel. And we are looking forward already to the day the first SWISS aircraft takes off with our solar kerosene.”

This year, Synhelion will build the world’s first facility for the industrial production of solar fuel in Jülich, Germany, with SWISS becoming the first customer in 2023. Under the partnership, SWISS and the Lufthansa Group will also support the development of a Synhelion production facility in Spain as well. Swiss pioneer Synhelion, SWISS, Edelweiss and the Lufthansa Group have been working together since 2020 to help reduce Swiss aviation emissions through the use of solar fuels.

Source: Swiss International Air Lines


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