Scientists combine water, sunlight, and CO2 to create carbon-neutral aviation fuel

Scientists combine water, sunlight, and CO2 to create carbon-neutral aviation fuel ...

Researchers in Switzerland have developed carbon-neutral, sustainable diesel and aviation fuel that is produced by a power generator rather than a lab in 2017. The team established a solar fuel-production facility at the IMDEA Energy Institute in Spain in 2017.

Researchers claimed that solar-made kerosene, or jet fuel, is fully compatible with the current methods of storing, distributing, and using fuel in planes engines. It can also be blended with fossil-derived kerosene, according to the report.

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Further, they explained that the Madrid manufacturing facility consists of 169 sun-tracking reflective panels that redirect and concentrate solar energy into a solar reactor on the top of a tower. Then, the concentrated solar energy drives oxidation-reduction reactions in the solar reactor, which contains a porous structure made of ceria a white or yellow heavy powder.

The ceria converts water and carbon dioxide injected into the reactor into syngas, which is made of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, before being sent into a gas-to-liquid converter where it is later processed into liquid hydrocarbon fuels like kerosene and diesel.

Professor Aldo Steinfeld, the study's lead author, said the study is the first to demonstrate the entire thermochemical process chain from water and CO2 to kerosene in a fully-integrated solar tower system.

We have demonstrated that with our solar technology, we may obtain synthetic kerosene from water and CO2 rather than from fossil fuels.

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Airplanes are thought to be responsible for about five percent of global emissions. They operate on kerosene or jet fuel, a liquid hydrocarbon fuel that comes from crude oil. In todays world, there is no clean and efficient way of flying airplanes. Therefore, creating carbon-neutral aviation fuels has become a global energy challenge.

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