Scientists go 'Green' making hydrocarbon fuels with just water and CO2!

Published Date
05 - Jul - 2010
| Last Updated
05 - Jul - 2010
Scientists go 'Green' making hydrocarbon fuels with just water an...

Hydrocarbon fuels produced using CO2 and solar powered plants

A team of scientists at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have reportedly unearthed a revolutionary new technique to produce hydrocarbon fuels using carbon dioxide (CO2), water, and solar powered reactors. This modern technique is aimed at quenching the world's exuberant energy needs and also completely neutralize carbon emissions at the same time.

Hydrocarbon fuels produced combining water and captured CO2

The extensive experiments have revealed that carbon dioxide could be broken down to carbon monoxide (CO) and combined with hydrogen & oxygen molecules obtained as byproducts of water (H2O) to form hydrocarbon fuel, using a technique known as the "Fischer-Tropsch" process. This technique uses solar reactors to breakdown CO2 and H2O, and then combined to form the fuel.

It has been deduced that implementation of the Fischer-Tropsch process does not require any major redesigns of engines and refueling stations. Thereby, providing low cost investment options with high yielding energy production.

The question of how to procure the carbon dioxide is also important. Apparently, the Sandia team of scientists have designed a machine called the "Counter Rotating Ring Receiver Reactor Recuperator (CR5)", which traps carbon dioxide from power plant exhaust fumes. The ultimate aim however, is to utilize CO2 directly from the air in the future, which would result in carbon neutral fuel, that's produced by atmospheric carbon. One such technique has been found by the Swiss Federal Institute of Techonology, which uses a similar system to create a stream of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, from atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Combined, both these solutions will be able to take care of our carbon dioxide (a major greenhouse gas) emission problems, slow down the greenhouse effect, and let us not forget - provide fuel in the process. A revolution is coming, where fossil fuel shortages seem irrelevant!

However, we feel the development of electric and hybrid cars should still be considered of prime importance, which will greatly reduce our emissions altogether, which unfortunately, contain a lot more than just carbon dioxide to be worried about.

Vinod YalburgiVinod Yalburgi