By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Design
British researchers are working on a $2.1 million project that could remove carbon dioxide from the air to turn it into car fuel.
Scientists and engineers from the University of the West of England, the University of Bath and the University of Bristol are collaborating on a project that aims to develop porous materials that can absorb greenhouse gases and convert them into chemicals to be used to make car fuel or plastics.
If that's not enough, the process is powered by renewable solar energy.
The project brings together scientists studying sustainable energy, chemistry, robotics and life sciences, and seeks to exploit the natural abilities of microorganisms to both reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and produce electricity or hydrogen.
At the moment, no large-scale technology exists to capture and process the diluted carbon dioxide in the air. But with "clever material design" and a lot of science, the researchers could develop an effective carbon neutral technology.
For now, the project is in its early stages. But it certainly raises an interesting question: with technology available to pull CO2 from the atmosphere, do factories and internal combustion engines remain the bad guys?
Mar 29, 2010
Hmmm. Trees have been doing this for a long time. And they are prettier than factories. And they provide medium term storage. And they can be grown alongside communication routes so they are easily harvested. And they are easier to turn into liquid fuel than atmospheric carbon dioxide. But the process can't be patented so I suppose there's no future for it.
Fossil fuels are, after all, just a fancy form of carbon. So we will take carbon from the air, use it to power our cars, and then put it back into the air, creating a cycle. Like water goes from ground to ocean to sky, and back to ground. Lets call this one the "carbological cycle" :D