Scientists generate carbon-neutral fuel from air

A group of British scientists have developed have developed a way to convert air into gasoline. In fact, the concept has been around for decades, ever since the oil crisis of the 1970s.

First scientists collect carbon, hydrogen and oxygen from the CO2 and water that are readily present in the air. These raw materials are all that are needed to generate methanol, and methanol can be converted into gasoline.

However, the scientists have yet to prove that the process generates more energy than it requires. The technique requires electricity for its chemical conversions, and the process cannot be viable until it is demonstrated that the energy needed as input costs less than what is gained as output.

Air Fuel Synthesis, a UK company has taken on the task of demonstrating that the technique produces a viable fuel, and that it can be made energy-efficient.

The first half of the equation has now been settled, as the company has demonstrated the conversion process.

The fuel is not only viable; the company believes it will be suitable for high-performance vehicles. But the biggest benefit of the fuel is its sustainability. Since burning the fuel only releases the same carbon dioxide that was already in the air to begin with, it is carbon neutral. (That is, so long as the electricity required to make the necessary chemical conversions is sourced from renewable energy.) Another benefit of the fuel is that it will be price-predictable. Gas prices won’t fluctuate because the fuel source will be stable.