Chemical potential: turning carbon dioxide into fuel

A number of engineering companies are on a mission to make CO2 fuel production not just a phyiscal reality but a commercial one too. Stephen Harris reports

Our entire way of life is built on a fundamental problem. Burning fossil fuels provides abundant cheap energy but produces a chemical widely believed to be dangerously altering the planet’s climate. But what if that chemical could be recycled to produce an endless supply of fuel without altering the delicate balance of the atmosphere? That’s the tantalising concept behind a slow but dramatic shift in thinking taking place among some scientists and engineers. Instead of viewing carbon dioxide (CO2) just as a cause of climate change, they see it as part of the solution: not something dangerous that needs to be hidden away underground but a useful material that could help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

The Engineer

About these ads

5 responses to “Chemical potential: turning carbon dioxide into fuel

  1. Leave CO2 alone. Plants are just now starting to breathe a bit easier.

  2. Blah, blah, blah. These people are trolling for investors.

  3. This whole article (as far as I could take it) reads like popular science with no regard for ANYTHING actually regarding science. The author’s sophomoric understanding of the basic laws of thermodynamics are painful to behold.

    The worst is the “make it into syngas”. The problem is this.
    Catalyst + CO2 <- CO + whatever
    Why? Because CO has a heat of formation -170 and CO2 is -392. It WILL GO BACKWARDS TO MAKE MORE CO2.

    Make the stupid stop.

  4. It’s right up there with that tablet you add to a tank of water to make gasoline out of it.

  5. I think it would be funny as hell if they succeed. Can you imagine radical environmentals demanding regulation of CO2 using technologies for the sake of the environment?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s