Professorship of Renewable Energy Carriers, ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich (ETHZ), founded in 1855, is one of the leading international universities for technology and the natural sciences. It is well-known for its excellent education and ground-breaking fundamental research. 21 Nobel Laureates have studied, taught or conducted research at ETH Zurich, underlining its excellent reputation. The Professorship of Renewable Energy Carriers (PREC) at ETH Zurich conducts research aimed at the advancement of the thermal and chemical engineering sciences applied to renewable energy technologies. The research focus comprises high-temperature heat/mass transport phenomena and multi-phase reacting flows, with applications in solar power, fuels, and materials production, CO2 capture and recycling, energy storage and sustainable energy systems. PREC is widely recognized for its fundamental research and innovative technological developments in solar thermochemical fuels using concentrated solar energy.

Role in the project

ETHZ leads WP2 and WP4. Specifically, ETHZ is responsible for the design, fabrication, and testing of the solar thermochemical reactor and for the development of high-performance redox materials.

Personnel involved

Prof. Aldo Steinfeld (Ph.D. University of Minnesota) is Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich, where he holds the Chair of Renewable Energy Carriers. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering (2005–2009) and co-Editor of the CRC Handbook of Hydrogen Energy (2014), authored more than 300 refereed journal papers, and supervised 38 PhD theses. His contributions to science and education have been recognized with the ASME Rice Award (2006), the Yellott Award (2008), the ERC Advanced Grant (2012), the ISES Farrington Daniels Award (2013), the Heat Transfer Memorial Award (2013), and the ASME Kreith Energy Award (2016). Prof. Steinfeld is member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Pan-American Academy of Engineering, and the International Solar Energy Society’s Board of Directors.
Dr. Erik Koepf (Ph.D. University of Delaware) is a research associate at the Institute of Energy Technology at ETH Zurich, working on solar fuels production and scale-up solar reactor design and demonstration. Previously, Dr. Koepf lead research and development in solar reactor technology as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paul Scherrer Institute. Before joining PSI, Dr. Koepf worked as a systems engineer at eSolar in Los Angeles. Dr. Koepf also lectures at ETH Zurich inside the Dept. of Mechanical and Process Engineering, and serves as the American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s Technical Chair for Solar Chemistry.