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.