Promises, promises: Engineers have found a way to synthesise everyday vehicle fuel from air and water, in a revolutionary breakthrough.
A small company working in two converted shipping containers says it has found a way to make petrol from fresh air and water. Air Fuel Synthesis Chief Executive Peter Harrison says the process could help curb climate change by providing a cleaner alternative to oil.
“We’ve taken carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water and turned these elements into petrol,” he told Al Jazeera. “For a country like the UK it means we could create all the fuel you want from renewable energy.”
The 58-year-old civil engineer, who used to work in the offshore oil industry, describes it as an amazing project to be involved with.
Harrison explained that they use a 30 foot tower on top of their first container to capture CO2 from the air. The process of separation involves combining the air with sodium hydroxide and passing it through an electrolyser.
A similar method is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The CO2 and hydrogen are then synthesised to make methanol, and eventually petrol.
The first question remains to be answered: Does it really work? The second question then is how feasible is it? Because it apparently costs a lot in terms of not only building the plant but the electricity that must be used. How do you most cheaply generate electricity these days? Fossil fuels. So, I can’t see this as hugely promising right now but is it a start? Is it part of the solution? Comments welcome. References appreciated.