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Quote of the day

'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Prototype device creates gasoline out of thin air

RATE THIS! +3
Posted in Science on 21st Oct, 2012 10:32 PM by AlexMuller

You've got to give it to those boffins over on that island of theirs: despite the funny way they talk, they're damn clever. A British company called Air Fuel Synthesis has apparently (apparently) developed a system that harvests carbon dioxide and water vapor straight out of the air and turns it into gasoline that you can put straight into your car. Um, wow.

 

This seems crazy, but according to an article in The Independent, Air Fuel Synthesis has a process that does, uh, air fuel synthesis that's been operating since August. The refinery combines water vapor and carbon dioxide, taking hydrogen from the water and combining it with carbon in the CO2 and a catalyst to create methanol, which is run through a bioreactor to turn it into gasoline. In some sense, it's just combustion in reverse, and it's the same basic trick that plants use to make a living as well, meaning that it confers the additional advantage of scrubbing the atmosphere of CO2 as it goes.

 

The Independent reports:

 

Tim Fox, head of energy and the environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, said: "It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. They are doing it and I've been up there myself and seen it. The innovation is that they have made it happen as a process. It's a small pilot plant capturing air and extracting CO2 from it based on well known principles. It uses well-known and well-established components but what is exciting is that they have put the whole thing together and shown that it can work."



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