Synthetic Gasoline Using Air Capture Technique

This may be a bit off topic but I don’t think too far.

The Telegraph is reporting today about a British Company, Air Fuel Synthesis, that is creating synthetic gasoline (petrol) in the following way.

The “petrol from air” technology involves taking sodium hydroxide and mixing it with carbon dioxide before electrolysing” the sodium carbonate that it produces to form pure carbon dioxide.

Hydrogen is then produced by electrolysing water vapour captured with a dehumidifier.

The company, Air Fuel Synthesis, then uses the carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce methanol which in turn is passed through a gasoline fuel reactor, creating petrol.

I’m not predicting that this one company is ready to solve the world’s energy crisis — they are a small organization and have created only five litres of gasoline in three months — however, I think this kind of innovation is what we might be able to expect if we can generate lots of cheap energy.

The process mentioned above involved electrolysis, which of course will require electricity, and lots of it if production of fuel using a process like this is carried out on a large scale. This is but one example of a useful technology that might become viable if E-Cat/LENR rectors can make possible cheap and abundant electricity generation (Rossi’s ‘Tesla’ dream).

As far as synthetic gasoline goes, even if cold fusion hits the mainstream, we have billions of vehicles throughout the world that will still require gasoline to run — and it’s likely that it would take decades to transition to automobiles running on new forms of energy, so solutions like this that use new technologies to create synthetic fuels could be very important.

  • QC-JYM

    Wondering what the price per litre will come up to when you add up cost of electrosys plus dehumidifying (witch is not a cheap process, BTW)and then fuel reactor… gasoline is 1.35$/ltr down here…challenging, aint it?


    • daniel maris

      They are thinking of starting with island economies where it’s difficult to import petrol.

    • Thinksforself

      The dehumidifying could be done with the heat from an LENR reactor. Look up absorption cooling. With it you could pull humidity/water out of desert air. Just add a heat source!!!

  • b4FreeEnergy

    Continuing the petrol age by making it ourselves?!

    This is certainly not what we’re waiting for and after all it’s still petrol so still poluting!

    (Not to mention the energy needed to make it)

    • MK

      When the energy source is LENR, then it will have a zero carbon footprint. Reason: The CO2 the vehicle will put out is first removed from the air. The remaining pollution is well under control with todays catalytic converters. Petrol created this way would be an energy storage, somehow comparable with an extremely high capacity accumulator.

      • barty

        Yes, and we still have the nice engine sounds!
        But environmental friendly!

        The energy which is needed to produce the fuel could be generated by a LENR reactor.

        • Mario Marq

          The more sound you have from those stupid obsolete contraptions, the less efficient/powerful it is… look at the lemans series and who wins almost always, and those “race” engines have something like 5 to 10 MPG… something you’d not recommend to your friends…

          you want “sound” you can produce it electrically… don’t need much… Mercedes is doing it for their BEV supercars.

          And burning a fuel is NEVER “environmental friendly”… so the less you have of it the better… heavy downsizing -> take the ICEs “out of the wheels”.

  • Blanco69

    Think I’ve seen something about this before. There was a few boffins working out in the desert somewhere in the US doing this very thing. They we using solar energy to run the process. It had the same sort feel as a couple of guys mixing up a batch of moonshine back in the woods but it’s great inovation and more power to them.

  • buffalo

    intresting.but very would need many times more electricity to make petrol than if u just do strait electrolysis and use the hydrogen directly as fuel instead of converting further to hydrocarbons

    • hadamhiram

      Correct. Electric vehicles are already close to being more efficient from a well-to-wheel energy perspective. Using this new process, gasoline would be very expensive – MUCH more than gasoline from fossil fuels. LENR, in turn, will make electricity cheaper. Together that means petrol cars will get more expensive to operate and electric cars will get cheaper. The logic is obviously to shift small vehicles to all-electric drive-trains.

      There may still be use for this process for aircraft, trucking, ships, etc. I believe the US Navy is using a similar process to create jet fuel from seawater and air on its aircraft carriers.

      • Mario Marq

        Electric vehicles are already much more efficient from a well-to-wheel energy perspective… its all ***propaganda***…

        Petrol ICE is 15% efficient to the wheels.

        Electric motors can be > 80% efficient and only consume power upon acceleration and cruising ( ICE do it all the time)

        Generators can be more than 90% efficient.

        If you make the accounts for the same levels of power outputs, you only need half the torque output of the potential ICE that you’d put on your wheels, for your generator(much much smaller engine)… to the point you could make batteries negligenciable in this accounts…

  • Omega Z


    I’ve looked into this many times in the last year.
    The Numbers I keep coming up with is Aprox. 1 Billion vehicles & growing.
    Oil used for Maritime Shipping equivalent to an additional 300 Million vehicles.

    Which is why I’ve stated many times that transition will take much more time then many realize. Some have implied just crank up production to make it happen faster. My reply is doesn’t matter how fast you build them. It depends on If & When I/We can afford one.

  • What if

    This process has a COP < 1. Nothing to see here, move along.

    • If the CIHT technology from – which has already been validated – manages to make it to market, we will not need gasoline at all.

      • Ciro Maddaloni

        Gentlemen all these are illusions. BlackLightPower is promising to produce electricity since 2007. But so far nothing else than fund raising and press releases.

  • Babble

    A much better method of getting fuel from CO2 is using Nat gas and capturing the CO2 from it and power plants. Carbon Sciences (CABN)has both wet and dry catalysts to do this. The problem is that most small companies are forced to die (being ignored by any bigger companies)then their patents are bought for a small sum or used after they expire.

    • Jim

      Except that the natural gas introduces more net carbon into the atmosphere, which is important to us coast dwellers.

  • Roger Bird

    The rest of the car besides the engine also costs money. I know that this may come as a surprise to some of you. I will be very happy to see gasoline prices drop really hard so that I don’t need to buy an entire new car. Yes, EVERYTHING will be cheaper, but the transition will take time and there will be someone around who will want to make a buck off of it. And I will take advantage of their entrepreneurial spirit.

  • jacob

    I propose that a sysyem be built,that uses solarpanels or windmills to power such a device to incorporate removing CO2 from the atmosphere humidity from the air as in the process of AIR Fuel SYNTHESIS to produce methanol to run your new generation flexfuel cars independant of the gas stations,fuel produced in your backyards without needed approval from the energy authorities.

    If it can be imagined it can be built !!

    Since the concept has already been proven to work.

  • Ciro Maddaloni

    We already have the technologies and know how to produce fuel from Algae. It is not yet done because there are still lobbies that are looking forward on how to control this process and use it to replace existing hydrocarbons processes. But will happen and will happen within 10 years.

  • All you have to do is read the comments on the original article in the Telegraph to see what a non-event this is.

    The gullibility of the media concerning stories like this is evidently boundless. Really, this isn’t much different than the mythical “car that runs on water”. (When you see the word “amazing” in a newspaper headline, it’s pretty much a tipoff that the writer has abandoned all skepticism.)

    People who write about science without knowing any actual science really bug me. Points off E-Cat World for credulously promoting this.