'Petrol from air' technology unveiled

22:26, Oct 23 2012

A British company is claiming it can make petrol from air and electricity.

The stunning claim from Air Fuels Synthesis has been described as a potential "game-changer" and saviour for the world's energy crisis in a recent online article from The Telegraph newspaper.

Here's how The Telegraph described the process:

"The technology removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The 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. It then uses the carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce methanol which in turn is passed through a gasoline fuel reactor, creating petrol."

In less than three months, the company claims to have produced five litres of petrol, which could be used in any regular petrol tank, from a small refinery.

Company executives told The Telegraph they hope to build a larger plant capable of producing a tonne of petrol daily within two years and are looking towards a refinery-sized operation within the next 15 years.

The Telegraph reported the £1.1 million (NZ$2.16m) project has been in development for the past two years and funding came from a group of unnamed philanthropists.

Read The Telegraph's full article by clicking here.

Do you believe in the technology? Comment below.