In no uncertain terms, this could be huge. In what could be a 'game-changer' for the global energy crisis and a step on the way to combating global warming, a small team of scientists from a company in the North-East of England have developed an 'air capture' technology that can produce synthetic petrol using little more than air and electricity.
Based in Stockton-on-Tees, the company behind it is known as Air Fuel Synthesis, and the technology is far from just theoretical. In just over a couple of months, they've created 5 litres of “cleaner and clearer” petrol through the process, and have high hopes that the next couple of years will allow them to build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing more than a ton of petrol a day. Looking even further ahead, the team are optimistic they'll be seeing a refinery-sized production outfit in working order by 2027. It seems this is just the start of something truly special.
The technology, which was presented to a London engineering conference this week, involves purifying the carbon dioxide pulled from the air using sodium hydroxide, and electrolysing water vapour captured with a dehumidifier to produce hydrogen. Using the carbon dioxide and hydrogen, the team can then produce methanol which is later fed through a 'gasoline fuel reactor' to produce petrol. Though the production of which currently runs off the National Grid, it'll be in utilising renewable energy that Air Fuel Synthesis can create petrol completely carbon-neutrally.
For more information, and details of how Air Fuel Synthesis is using the technology in present-day, head on over to its official website.