Solar thermochemical production of fuels from CO2 and H2O using ceria redox reactions (SOLAR FUELS)


Research Programme Hydrogen, Competence Center Energy and Mobility CCEM

Partners: ETH Zurich, Paul Scherrer Institute

This project is aimed at developing the science and technology required to efficiently produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels from H2O, CO2, and solar energy. The optimization of the ceria structures is an essential endeavor for reaching high fuel production rates at high solar-to-fuel energy conversion efficiencies.


  • To engineer robust and stable reticulate porous ceramic (RPC) ceria foams and examine a wide range of ceria dopants to increase the oxygen release and uptake during cycling. RPC foams will be fabricated with open 3D network structures of high interconnecting porosity, high specific surface area, low density, and good permeability, for the purpose of obtaining efficient mass/heat transfer and fast reaction kinetics.
  • To determine the effective heat and mass transport properties of the RPC foams.
  • To prepare doped cerium mixed oxides with enhanced oxygen-release capabilities and thermal stability
  • To identify mixed-oxide oxygen storage sites and relate structural properties to reaction mechanism and kinetics by operando spectroscopy and scattering (in situ HERFD-XAS, Raman and XRD).
  • To identify the fundamental reaction mechanisms and determine kinetic rates for different ceria structures exposed directly to high-flux solar irradiation.
Prof. Ulrich F. Vogt

Prof. Ulrich F. Vogt

Group Leader Composites and Membranes

Phone: +41 58 765 4160


J. Power Sources, 2015, 300, 261-271

Materials for Energy Infrastructurep. 11–20,  Springer, 2016.