An international team of researchers has presented a method that converts carbon dioxide into aircraft fuel. The effectiveness of the method is 38%.
A group of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the UK and Saudi Arabia have developed a method for producing jet fuel using carbon dioxide as the main ingredient. In an article published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists describe the production process and fuel efficiency.
The researchers wanted to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide – one of the main industries behind the record, 12% of emissions is transportation. However, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the aviation industry has proven challenging due to installing heavy batteries inside aircraft. So scientists have developed a chemical process that can be used to produce carbon-neutral jet fuel.
Researchers have introduced an organic combustion method to convert carbon dioxide in the air into jet fuel and other products. They use an iron catalyst with added potassium and manganese, hydrogen, citric acid, and carbon dioxide heated to 350 degrees Celsius. As a result of this process, carbon atoms are separated from oxygen atoms in CO2 molecules, combining with hydrogen atoms to form hydrocarbon molecules that are part of liquid jet fuel. The process also produced water molecules and other products.
Tests showed that in 20 hours, the process converted 38% of the carbon dioxide in the pressurized chamber into jet fuel and other products. The share of jet fuel accounted for 48% of manufactured products – water, propylene, and ethylene. The researchers also note that the use of this fuel in airplanes will be carbon neutral since when it is burned, it releases the same amount of carbon dioxide used to make it.
The researchers also claim that their process is cheaper than similar methods and requires less electricity. They also point out that conversion systems can be installed in factories that are now emitting huge amounts of carbon dioxide.