R&D units

Unit of High-Temperature processes

Dr. José González

Senior Researcher & Head of Unit


Dr. Manuel Romero

Research Professor & Deputy Director


The High Temperature Processes Unit at IMDEA Energy promotes the decarbonisation of the energy system through the use of solar energy in the synthesis of fuels and chemical heat production in industrial processes, and electricity generation. To this end, we focus on research and development in modular, efficient, dispatchable and economically competitive concentrating solar technologies.

Research lines

Modular schemes of solar thermal facilities for urban and industrial integration;

Advanced solar receivers and reactors (pressurised, volumetric and particle) and heat exchangers;

High-T thermal energy storage (thermochemical, sensible, PCM);

Solar fuels and chemicals production using metal oxides; and

Assessment of integration of solar energy in industrial processes, heat recovery & environmental impact (advanced thermodynamic cycles, water, glint, glare).


Our research activities are organised around four major infrastructures: (i) The Computational Design Laboratory for High Temperature Processes (HTPU-CDL); (ii) the High Temperature Processes Laboratory (HTPU-LAB): (iii) the 42 kW High Flux Solar Simulator; and (iv) the IMDEA Energy’s solar field, consisting of 169 heliostats and a solar tower with two test platforms at 12 and 15 m height.

R&D projects

Outstanding results


A solar tower fuel plant for the thermochemical production of kerosene from H2O and CO2, Zoller. S., Koepf, E., Nizamian, D., Stephan, M., Patané, A., Haueter. Ph., Romero, M., González-Aguilar, J., Lieftink, D., de Wit, E., Brendelberger, S., Sizmann, A., Steinfeld, A. (2022) Joule, 6(7), 1606 – 161620. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2022.06.012

Soiling effect in solar energy conversion systems: A review, Conceição, R., González-Aguilar, J., Alami Merrouni, A., Romero, M. (2022) Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 162, 112434. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2022.112434

Solar Energy on Demand: A Review on High Temperature Thermochemical Heat Storage Systems and Materials, Carrillo, A.J., González-Aguilar, J., Romero, M., Coronado, J.M. (2019) Chemical Reviews, 119, 7, 4777-4816. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrev.8b00315

Thermal and hydrodynamic behavior of ceramic volumetric absorbers for central receiver solar power plants: A review, Gomez-Garcia, F., González-Aguilar, J., Olalde, G., Romero, M. (2016) Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 57, 648-658. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.12.106

Concentrating solar thermal power and thermochemical fuels, Romero, M., Steinfeld, A. (2012), Energy and Environmental Science, 5, 11, 9234-9245. https://doi.org/10.1039/c2ee21275g

Milestones and awards

IMDEA Energy coordinates research on concentrating solar technologies in the region of Comunidad de Madrid through the research program ACES2030-CM.

IMDEA Energy addresses advanced science challenges and integrated research activities in the field of Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) by integrating its research infrastructures into the ambitious wide project in the European project SFERA-III, which aims at offering to the R&D community a new level of high-quality services.

IMDEA Energy hosted the experimental infrastructure SUN-to-LIQUID, which demonstrated the entire thermochemical process chain from water and CO2 to kerosene in a fully-integrated solar tower.

The project SUN-to-LIQUID was recognized as one of the world’s best environmental projects winning the 22nd Energy Globe World Award in the category “Fire”, dedicated to projects on sustainable energy technologies. The Energy Globe World Award, organized by the independent Energy Globe foundation in Austria since 1999, is today the most recognized environmental award in the world, rewarding successful sustainable projects from five continents and thus demonstrating that many of our environmental problems have feasible solutions. The 2021 edition registered 182 participating countries and more than 2,000 projects submitted from around the world. The finalists and winners were presented in the ceremony celebrated on November 8th, 2021, during the COP26 Conference in Glasgow.

IMDEA Energy received the ‘National Energy Globe Award Spain 2021’ in the national category, in recognition of the most outstanding environmental project in Spain.

The project SUN-to-LIQUID received the SolarPACES 2022 Technology Innovation Award for the development of solar-driven jet fuel technology for the aviation industry.