Among the renewable energy sources (RES), solar energy is unmatched in its magnitude and availability as well as scalable to any future energy demand. In the other hand, the high power density, ease of transportation and storage and many years of development of internal combustion engine technologies have put liquid hydrocarbon fuels at a privileged position in our transportation and energy mix. In this framework, the direct use of the so-called “solar fuels”, i.e. synthetic liquid fuels produced via the use of solar energy and, ideally, non-fossil raw materials, can contribute to “Green Mobility”, especially to the Fuel-cell- and Hydrogen-powered one. The talk will present the current state-of-the art of such efforts, relevant to the use of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) systems – i.e. special mirror assemblies that track the sun and concentrate its radiation, converting thus solar energy to medium- to high-temperature heat – focusing on commonalities in materials requirements and reactor concepts among several solar energy conversion, storage and transformation-related processes.
Dr. Christos Agrafiotis is a member of the Institute of Solar Research at DLR (German Aerospace Center), Cologne, Germany, which he originally joined as an EU Marie-Curie Research Fellow (2012-2014), having previously worked in research for 20 years in Greece (CERECO S.A., 1993-2000; Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Ioan-nina, 1999-2001; APTL/CERTH/CPERI, 2001-2012). He holds a Diploma from the University of Patras, Greece (1983), a M.Sc. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A. (1986) and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Buffalo, U.S.A. (1991), all in Chemical Engineering. His research is focused on advanced ceramic materials and in particular their applications in the exploitation of concentrated solar power, production of solar fuels and thermochemical solar energy storage. He has authored 55 publications in international refereed journals and has participated in and coordinated many EU-funded research projects, among them being member of the HYDROSOL team awarded the 2006 Descartes Prize.