ASU LightWorks’ Dr. Ellen Stechel to showcase solar-to-fuel solutions at 50th International Paris Air Show


The International Paris Air Show, inaugurated in 1909, is the world’s oldest (and largest) aviation show, drawing participants from all over the world. Open to both professionals and the general public, it is the leading global networking event in the aerospace industry and a prime location for the development and display of leading edge aviation and space innovations. The show is organized by Salon International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace (SIAE), a subsidiary of Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS). This year’s event will take place June 17-23, 2013 at Le Bourget Exhibition Center.

ASU LightWorks Deputy Director, Dr. Ellen Stechel, will have a booth at the Paris Air Show to discuss LightSpeed Solutions, a collaborative initiative that advocates the awareness and advancement of solar-to-fuel technologies and recycled CO2 waste. The LightSpeed mission statement is as follows:

“LightSpeed Solutions communicates exciting innovations for technologies on the roadmap to marketable and sustainable solar fuels. We are passionate about recycling waste CO2 as a feedstock to create liquid hydrocarbons using sunlight and brackish water. We aim to produce low carbon, scalable and infrastructure compatible transportation fuels initially hybridizing with natural gas and biomass. We can capitalize on cheap and abundant natural gas in the near term and avoid locking in a high-carbon future in the long term. Together we can overcome our urgent energy and climate challenges with sunlight to fuel solutions.”
At the Paris Air Show, Dr. Stechel will place particular emphasis on using solar-to-fuel options to create jet fuel that is both commercially scalable and sustainable. The following infographic demonstrates the solar fuels “roadmap” concept.

Dr. Stechel recently published a “Thought Leader Series” piece with the Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) titled, “Low Carbon Fuels From Sunlight: Is it possible? Is it practical?” Click here for more information on this piece, which discusses the technical aspects of solar-to-fuel technologies and LightSpeed’s position in communicating them.

The world sits at the crossroad of a great energy shift. Transportation fuels are just one small piece of the carbon emissions problem. Atmospheric CO2 levels just reached 400 ppm for the first time in the history of humankind. The Scripps Research CO2 Group offers this perspective:

“An immediate cut in fossil-fuel emissions by 55 percent is clearly not even remotely possible, so CO2 will continue its relentless rise. Keeping CO2 below 450 ppm will also be very difficult, as this will require immediately leveling off of fossil fuel emissions and then cutting emissions to below 30 percent of present levels over the next 50 years or so. If nothing is done to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, CO2 could keep rising for centuries, depending on the amount of coal, natural gas, oil, and any new forms of fossil fuels that are extractable. By some estimates, the ultimate resource of fossil fuels may be large enough that CO2 will rise as high as 1,600 ppm before fossil fuels are fully depleted. This would be sufficient to cause the world to warm between 4 to 10° C (7 to 18° F) with unimaginable consequences.”
LightSpeed seeks to advance technologies that tackle the carbon problem by storing sunlight and sequestering carbon above ground in the form of solar fuels, offering a transition vehicle to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.

Primary funding for LightSpeed’s presence at the Paris Air Show comes from ASU LightWorks with additional support from CSIRO and Sandia Labs.

You will find LightSpeed Solutions in the Alternative Aviation Fuels Pavilion in Hall 1 at kiosk 1-H276-1.

You may follow the Paris Air Show on Twitter using hashtag #PAS13.

Written by Sydney Lines, ASU LightWorks

Connect with Dr. Stechel on Twitter:

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