Saturday, May 08, 2010

Science Fiction or Science Fact? Cars in the Future May Be Powered by Carbon Dioxide!

The U.K. Guardian (5-6-10) reports:

Imagine a green fuel that could power our cars, keep the wheels of industry turning, and wean us off our addiction to oil. A fuel that could stop climate change in its tracks, and send carbon levels plunging to pre-industrial levels. A fuel that allows business as usual to carry on as before – emissions and all. Because that fuel is… CO2.

It sounds like advertising copy from fantasy island. But now a combination of applied solar power and lateral thinking could just turn this into reality.

It's actually not that far-fetched a scenario. Trees and algae have been turning CO2 into fuel since the dawn of time, unlocking the chemical energy within this molecule to power metabolic processes. Now, some scientists believe we can follow.

With a little ingenuity, it is already possible to transform CO2 into anything from petrol to natural gas. And thanks to centuries of industrialisation, we appear to have a plentiful supply of the stuff floating around us in the atmosphere. So if we can just find an efficient means of extracting CO2 from air and converting it into a useful fuel, it should be possible both to power our future and scrub our atmosphere clean. [See full text.]

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