Based on Canadian Company Carbon Engineering (CE) Research Project

Pilot Plant Shows Low-Cost Conversion of CO2 Into Fuel

Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 11:01

Pulling carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and using it to make synthetic fuel is an expensive technology but in a new study, scientists say future chemical plants could drop that cost below $100 per ton.

After running a pilot plant for three years, Canadian company Carbon Engineering (CE) has broken down the costs of a DAC system and shown it can be done much more cost-effectively than previously thought, New Atlas reports.

The pilot plant is made up of an industrial cooling tower, remodeled to pull CO2 from the air before converting it from a gas to a solid and back to a purified gas. To start with, the facility uses a liquid hydroxide solution to capture the CO2, and convert it into a carbonate. That is then formed into pellets, which are in turn heated in an industrial kiln to produce a pure carbon dioxide gas.

That gas can then form the basis of a synthetic fuel. The company has developed a process it calls Air To Fuels, which uses water electrolysis and fuels synthesis techniques to turn that pure CO2 into liquid hydrocarbon fuels. CE says these fuels are compatible with existing transportation infrastructure.

"Our clean fuel is fully compatible with existing engines, so it provides the transportation sector with a solution for significantly reducing emissions, either through blending or direct use," says Steve Oldham, CEO of CE. "Our technology is scalable, flexible and demonstrated."

The research was published in the journal Joule.

Sources: Carbon Engineering, Harvard

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