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Petrol 'produced from air and water'

[FONT=Arial]A British firm based on Teeside says it’s designed revolutionary new technology that can produce petrol using air and water.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced 5 litres of petrol since August, but hopes to be in production by 2015 making synthetic fuel targeted at the motor sports sector.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]The company believes the technique could help solve energy supply problems and curb global warming.
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20003704

Sounds like an April 1st posting.


If it turns out a fuel like petrol, it would think it will help the politics concerning the supply of crude but won’t do much for global warming other than make the supply chain more efficient?

Well, all the basic elements for making methanol (which is what they’re doing) are indeed available from air and water. But unravelling hydrogen from water and the carbon from the air will take quite a bit of energy. I am guessing that this is not an energy-efficient process - you won’t get back anything like the energy you use to make the methanol when you burn it. Having said that, if you had a plant doing this - or simply hydrolysing water to make hydrogen - at the bottom a wind turbine whose output is currently surplus to requirement, or maybe isn’t even connected to the grid, then you can look on this as a form of solar (or wind) energy storage. So when they publicise the overall efficiency of the process we’ll be able to tell how significant a development this is. If it’s real.

What more can I say about AFS? Their latest discovery is truly amazing. Much of the time, if a person heard that it was easy to make gas from something other than petroleum, say, for example, from air, many people would say it was hogwash. The Air Fuel Synthesis has so far been able to produce only 5 liters, less than one and one-half gallons, of fuel this way, taking several months. The company hopes to have a refinery-scale operation by 2015, but time will tell.

it doesnt really matter if a system is inefficient, when its running from renewable source like sunshine.
If a solar panel uses a catalyst to turn co2 and water into petrol, even if it functions at say 5% it will produce enough if left in the sun on a permanent basis. Just a few meters squared of solar in the garden could produce more fuel that a person would use.

Catalyst technology to do this is under development

Sell me a kit then. I’ll set it up to run my other vehicles and a genny at night when solar is not working.

Currently (:)) the amount of energy the process uses is very high for what it produces. The process has been around for many years but not in a format that is economical to run. Like you suggest stick on the end of a renewable energy source (Wind turbine, Hydro etc) and let the process run when surplus power is available.

Its a Proof of Concept project at the moment with AFS pushing for funding to develop further. Can you run petrol cars on methanol with no modification? Methanol is not petrol. CO2 can be ripped from the air quite easily and the biggy is making H2 from electrolysing water. At the moment AFS use regular electricity for this but want to push for renewable power for this source. Problem is that bit has not been scaled commercially so far.

Nice to see AFS publicly stated they did not want funding from the big Petroleum Giants :slight_smile:

Creating hydrocarbon-fuel out of water and carbon dioxide doesnt mean free energy. It’s just another way of energy storage. You need energy for the process.