Confirmation from BBC
and The Independent
states that a British company known as Air Fuel Synthesis
has found a way to turn carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere into, essentially, gasoline. The process is, of course, easier said than done.
Jason Palmer of BBC News
"An idea has hit the news on Friday to produce petrol from air and water - removing CO2 from the atmosphere, combining it with hydrogen split from water vapour and turning it into a fuel that can go straight back into the petrol tank.
It's like combustion in reverse, and in essence it is what powers plants: CO2 and water in, energy-rich sugar molecules out."
Tim Fox, head of energy and the environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, said: "It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. They are doing it and I've been up there myself and seen it. The innovation is that they have made it happen as a process. It's a small pilot plant capturing air and extracting CO2 from it based on well known principles. It uses well-known and well-established components but what is exciting is that they have put the whole thing together and shown that it can work."
Although this concept isn't new involving the works of carbon dioxide, the question remains one of efficiency. Just how efficient will this be and just what are the side effects?
Since August, Air Fuel Synthesis produced 5 liters of petroleum, which is based on the works of a small refinery. They hope to switch to a larger, commercial refinery within two years time to produce a ton of petroleum a day.
In the end, they are focusing on the production and distribution of renewable fuel, especially the production of green aviation fuel to make air travel environmentally friendly.