SolDAC , full spectrum solar
direct air capture and conversion
The SolDAC project is funded by the EU and its main objective is to reinvent the chemical industry thanks to a cutting-edge technology that will allow, from solar energy and air, the direct conversion of carbon dioxide into ethylene.
SolDAC involves a photoelectrochemical conversion (PEC) unit that harnesses bandwidth-selected light from a solar collector (FSS) that splits the solar spectrum to generate electricity and heat with higher efficiency than stand-alone photovoltaic modules and stand-alone solar thermal collectors.
This photoelectrochemical conversion unit is the only possible route for the direct conversion of CO2 into ethylene, the main building block of the chemical industry used to produce numerous materials such as plastics and detergents, enabling a sustainable and competitive industry that will remove C02 from the air thanks to this innovative capture unit. This cutting-edge technology will place Europe in the first circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy and is based on the integration of three main units: Photo-Electrochemical Conversion (PEC) unit, Full Spectrum Solar (FSS) collector and Direct Air Capture (DAC) unit.
The process is energy self-sufficient, and the heat is used in an innovative direct air capture (DAC) unit at ultra-low temperature (~60°C), which encourages eventual circular integration with heat networks. The DAC unit removes carbon dioxide from the air, concentrates it to more than 95% and compresses it to feed the PEC cell and a pipeline for carbon dioxide storage.
The development of the first phases of SolDAC will offset the carbon footprint of the entire process of converting solar energy into chemical products, ensuring the reduction of the carbon footprint and the techno-economic viability of the production process of efficient components in interested industry sectors, such as energy and chemicals.
The decarbonisation of the ethylene industry will favour and boost European leadership in the production of renewable chemicals from CO₂ by making it a ‘zero emission’ industry.