Scientists have achieved a breakthrough in conversion. Recently, scientists at Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS), a small British company in Stockton-on-Tees claim that they have produced petrol from air. Since August till now, scientists have made “five liters of petrol” from Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and water vapor. Get the details with the process inside.
Converting air into petrol is £1.1 million project. The conversion is not so easy. The chemistry of the transformation requires a complicated series of steps and need enough electricity. The scientists have described the conversion process in this way :
Air is blown into a tower filled with a mist of Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) solution. The Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the air reacts with some of the Sodium Hydroxide to form Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3) which is well known as washing soda or soda ash . However, this Sodium Carbonate is then electrolysed to release the Carbon Dioxide, which is collected and stored. A dehumidifier condenses water out of the same air passed into the tower, with this condensed water then passed into an electrolyser where it is split into Hydrogen and Oxygen. The Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen are reacted together to make a Hydrocarbon mixture, with reaction conditions varied depending on the kind of fuel required. The product can then be mixed with the same additives used in current fuels to ease starting, burn cleanly and avoid corrosion problems. Otherwise it can be blended directly with gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel.
At present, the process is in its early developmental stage and needs huge amount of electricity. However the cost of this conversion hasn’t been revealed. However, Air Fuel Synthesis plans to build a larger, commercial-scale plant within two years which will be capable of producing one ton of petrol each day through converting air.
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