EU project “Sungate” launched
New technology platform for carbon-neutral production of solar fuels

Ulm University

Researchers from Ulm University are involved in the recently launched EU project “SUNGATE”. The project is being managed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, in collaboration with 11 industrial and research partners. In this project, the partners are working together to develop a new, sustainable and cost-efficient biohybrid technology based on artificial photosynthesis, which will enable highly efficient and scalable production of solar fuels.

In the face of the energy transition, solar fuels represent a sustainable solution for an environmentally friendly source of energy, whether in mobility, private homes or industrial sectors with high emissions of CO2. A promising approach to producing solar fuels is artificial photosynthesis. However, the currently available systems are inefficient, and high costs make them unsuitable for industrial use. The EU project SUNGATE aims to counteract these limitations by combining the basics of artificial photosynthesis with photoelectrocatalysis, flow microreactor technology and biotechnology. The overall goal of the SUNGATE project is to provide a kind of technology that can guarantee a cost-efficient global energy supply and contribute to climate neutrality by 2050.

From Ulm University, Professor Radim Beránek (Institute of Electrochemistry) and his team are involved in the project. Professor Beránek’s research team is working with other project partners to develop the photoanodes for water oxidation required for the production process.

Solar fuels without toxic or problematic raw materials

SUNGATE’s unique modular and scalable technology enables flexible, de-fossilised production of solar fuels for a broad range of applications. This has the potential to pave the way for a unique, modular technology system that, unlike established photoelectrochemical systems, relies on neither toxic nor problematic raw materials. SUNGATE’s sole source of energy is sunlight, with water and CO2 serving as inexhaustible raw materials, which are then converted into solar fuels such as methanol and formate.

12 industrial and research partners from six EU countries and Turkey are working together in this interdisciplinary project consortium. The SUNGATE project is being funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe programme with a total budget of approximately 4.9 million euros until 30 September 2027.

Project coordinator

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, Germany

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems IMM, Germany
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, Germany
  • University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia, Spain
  • University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Ulm University, Germany
  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • Tarsus University, Turkey
  • 2.-0 LCA Consultants, Denmark
  • Danish Board of Technology, Denmark
  • Chemtrix BV, Netherlands

For more information on the project at Ulm University:
Prof Dr Radim Beránek, Tel: 0731 / 50 25402, E-mail: radim.beranek(at)

For more information on the overall project:
Sascha Falkner, Press and Public Relations Officer
Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME
Telephone: +49 241 6085-35138, E-mail: sascha.falkner(at)

Text and mediacontact: Sascha Falkner


Graphical abstract for the EU project SUNGATE
Graphical abstract for the EU project SUNGATE (Source: Fraunhofer IME)
Prof. Radim Beránek
Prof Radim Beránek from the Institute of Electrochemistry looking into the future of solar fuels (Photo: private)