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"Petrol from Air"

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:30 pm
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"Petrol from Air" 
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Post "Petrol from Air"   Posted on: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:30 pm
A small British company has produced the first "petrol from air" using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced five litres of petrol since August when it switched on a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapour.

The company hopes that within two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day. It also plans to produce green aviation fuel to make airline travel more carbon-neutral.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 17382.html

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Post Re: "Petrol from Air"   Posted on: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:47 pm
The catch is that it requires a lot of energy, much more than you store in the hydrocarbons.

This isn't going to be practical on a large scale until 2 things happen:

1) The supply of fossil fuels drops and increases in cost to make alternatives economically attractive.

2) High output energy sources are found, like fusion, etc. The "renewables" (wind, solar, etc.) aren't power dense enough, and there isn't any sense in using fossil fuels (coal,oil,gas) to create even less synthetic fuel. Remember that this process will compete for energy with everything else, industrial and consumer. That demand isn't going to go down...


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Post Re: "Petrol from Air"   Posted on: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:28 pm
Um...

Why not just use a photobioreactor to capture co2 from an existing coal plant.... Add waste water and sunshine, use waste heat from coal or solar to dry algae, use large solar array to make syngas from algea, ovet 1000 degrees negates tar, pass over catalist and bingo
sun + pollution + poo = fuel that can be burnt in existing infrastructure.

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Post Re: "Petrol from Air"   Posted on: Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:53 am
Because you will have the extra step of chemically converting it into petrol, ie: Fischer–Tropsch process

But you never know, they might be using an biological means of fixing the hydrocarbons together.


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Post Re: "Petrol from Air"   Posted on: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:13 pm
JamesG wrote:
The catch is that it requires a lot of energy, much more than you store in the hydrocarbons.

This isn't going to be practical on a large scale until 2 things happen:

1) The supply of fossil fuels drops and increases in cost to make alternatives economically attractive.

2) High output energy sources are found, like fusion, etc. The "renewables" (wind, solar, etc.) aren't power dense enough, and there isn't any sense in using fossil fuels (coal,oil,gas) to create even less synthetic fuel. Remember that this process will compete for energy with everything else, industrial and consumer. That demand isn't going to go down...


The idea with this was to use off peak wind energy that was being wasted because we don't currently have the infrastructure to store it until needed. We could energy wise if we committed to build huge wind farms get all the energy we need to run our civilisation at current levels. The problem is load balancing and covering the all the different peaks and troughs of usage and production with a viable way of storing and extracting at times needed this may be a part of the solution.

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Post Re: "Petrol from Air"   Posted on: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:41 am
Photobioreactors turn waste into fuel, with very old school tech, and in fact could be ran by wind, pumping water uphill is a cheap way to store power as well, but you can't put that in a gas tank or make it in your garage, a solar powered processing station could fit on a pallet, the photobio reactor could be a very large pond.

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Post Re: "Petrol from Air"   Posted on: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:05 pm
Sigma wrote:
Photobioreactors turn waste into fuel, with very old school tech, and in fact could be ran by wind, pumping water uphill is a cheap way to store power as well, but you can't put that in a gas tank or make it in your garage, a solar powered processing station could fit on a pallet, the photobio reactor could be a very large pond.


Hydro electric storage is great. If you have hills and space for the lake.

Which here in the Fens of East Anglia, UK, we are completely bereft off. Some sort of storage mechanism IS required, and even if inefficient (at the momemt), something like this might be the answer. Off peak power previously wasted converted in to fuel...very appealing.


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