How to turn carbon dioxide into fuel
The atmospheric CO2 delivered by our Direct Air Capture process can be used to produce clean transportation fuels. We call this the AIR TO FUELS process. CE’s AIR TO FUELS process starts by using renewable electricity to split hydrogen from water, then combines the hydrogen with captured atmospheric CO2 to produce synthetic crude. This ‘syncrude’ can then be processed into common gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel that works in the engines of existing vehicles without the need to modify them. This technology can form an important complement to electric vehicles by providing a clean renewable fuel for those sectors of transportation that are unlikely to be electrified and that require the high energy density of liquid fuels – long haul transport, marine and air travel.
The AIR TO FUELS process produces fuels that are cleaner burning than fossil fuels and can be produced with 100 times less land use than biofuels. Most importantly, our fuels can be produced and used with very low or even zero addition of CO2 to the atmosphere (depending on the energy source used to power the DAC facility). Burning our fuels releases the CO2 that was captured to produce them, but the process would add little or no new carbon emissions to the air because it creates a circular system of emissions in which we continually reuse the atmospheric CO2.
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