Home pagePress monitoringSunshine-to-Petrol Project Seeks Fuel From Thin Air

Sunshine-to-Petrol Project Seeks Fuel From Thin Air

Date: 15.12.2007 

Using concentrated **solar energy** to reverse combustion, a research team from Sandia National Laboratories is building a prototype device intended to chemically “reenergize” carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide using concentrated solar power. The carbon monoxide could then be used to make hydrogen or serve as a building block to synthesize a **liquid combustible fuel**, such as methanol or even gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. The prototype device, called the *Counter Rotating Ring Receiver Reactor Recuperator* (CR5, for short), will break a carbon-oxygen bond in the carbon dioxide to form carbon monoxide and oxygen in two distinct steps. It is a major piece of an approach to converting carbon dioxide into fuel from sunlight. The Sandia research team calls this approach “Sunshine to Petrol” (S2P). “Liquid Solar Fuel” is the end product — the methanol, gasoline, or other liquid fuel made from water and the carbon monoxide produced using solar energy. #img_832#.> *Sandia researcher Rich Diver checks out the solar furnace which will be the initial source of concentrated solar heat for the CR5 prototype. Eventually parabolic dishes will provide the thermal energy. (Credit: Photo by Randy Montoya)* “This invention, though probably a good 15 to 20 years away from being on the market, holds a real promise of being able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while preserving options to keep using fuels we know and love,” researchers say. “What’s exciting is that this onvention will result in fossil fuels being used at least twice, meaning less carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere and a reduction of the rate that fossil fuels are pulled out of the ground,” Diver says. As an example, coal would be burned at a clean coal power plant. The carbon dioxide from would be captured and reduced to carbon monoxide in the CR5. The carbon monoxide would then be the starting point of making gasoline, jet fuel, methanol, or almost any type of liquid fuel. The prospect of a **liquid fuel** is significant because it fits in with the current gasoline and oil infrastructure. After the synthesized fuel is made from the carbon monoxide, it could be transported through a pipeline or put in a truck and hauled to a gas station, just like gasoline refined from petroleum is now. Plus it would work in ordinary gasoline and diesel engine vehicles. Source: "http://www.sciencedaily.com":[ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071208150135.htm]


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