Scottish Engineers Synthesize Clean Fuel Using Just Air and Water

By JG Vibes
dev-test.intellihub.com
January 17, 2013

It’s hard to tell in today’s world, but energy is one of the most abundant resources on the planet, the only thing that is difficult is finding ways to tap into this energy safely.

Many inventors and scientists since Nikola Tesla have discovered ways to solve this problem effectively, but due to the radical change that this would bring to the social structure, these technologies have always been suppressed.

With that being said, it will be interesting to see what happens with the Scottish “Air Fuel Synthesis” project, now that they have announced a process to create clean fuel using just water and air.

According to Aljazeera:

A small company working in two converted shipping containers says it has found a way to make petrol from fresh air and water. Air Fuel Synthesis Chief Executive Peter Harrison says the process could help curb climate change by providing a cleaner alternative to oil.

“We’ve taken carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water and turned these elements into petrol,” he told Al Jazeera. “For a country like the UK it means we could create all the fuel you want from renewable energy.”

The 58-year-old civil engineer, who used to work in the offshore oil industry, describes it as an amazing project to be involved with.

Harrison explained that they use a 30 foot tower on top of their first container to capture CO2 from the air. The process of separation involves combining the air with sodium hydroxide and passing it through an electrolyser.

A similar method is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The CO2 and hydrogen are then synthesised to make methanol, and eventually petrol.

It cost them around $800,000 to build the plant. Since the mini-refinery was switched on in August, they have made 15 litres of fuel that could be used to power any normal car.

Philippa Oldham, head of transport at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, is excited at the breakthrough. “The process of making petrol from air is relatively straightforward and really does work,” she told Al Jazeera.

It is projected that this will be available commercially by 2015.  Late last year Phys.org explained the future of this effort:

“Its product looks and smells like petrol but it’s cleaner and clearer, without additives. The fuel can be used in any regular petrol tank.

The results so far are said to be promising but there are more development stages to go. The company said power could be used from renewable sources such as wind farms or tidal barrages.

The company has used carbon dioxide extracted from air to make petrol, but it is also using industrial sources of carbon dioxide until it can improve on carbon capture.

Still, the company has its own vision. The company hopes that in two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day.

“We think that by the end of 2014, provided we can get the funding going, we can be producing petrol using renewable energy and doing it on a commercial basis,” Harrison said.

The vision is also that people could go on to a garage and put the new product into their cars without having to install batteries or adapt the vehicle for fuel cells or having hydrogen tanks fitted. AFS also plans to produce “green” aviation fuel to make air travel more carbon-neutral.”

When this issue began to get coverage on the news politicians and bureaucrats were horrified that they may no longer have an excuse to restrict the travel of their slaves.

Aljazeera interviewed one politician who insisted that he still needed to mettle in peoples lives about their travel even if they were using clean fuels.

According to the article:

“Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie is more sceptical. He warned that technological advances should not allow people to pretend that nothing else needs to change.

“Even if they can achieve impressive improvements in the overall energy balance in synthetic hydrocarbons, there will still be limits on the amount of renewable energy we can generate, and so there will be a need to reduce demand for energy including from aviation and other transport uses.”

It seems that as usual, the only powers holding us back from a world of abundance are the “powers that shouldn’t be”

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J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer and reporter for The Intellihub and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio. 

You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com