Two companies in British Colombia are engineering a game-changing fuel made out of the air for road vehicles, ships, and planes. As the transport sector accounts for about 20 percent of global CO2, this could be a very positive game-changer.
The large-scale commercial facility in Canada that will produce this clean fuel is, itself, powered by clean hydroelectricity and utilizes Carbon Engineering’s cutting-edge Direct Air Capture and AIR TO FUELS™ technologies to electrolyze water, splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen, reports CTV News. Then, the hydrogen is mixed with carbon dioxide pulled from the air to produce hydrocarbons that can replace traditional fossil-fuels.
Carbon Engineering's partner, Huron Clean Energy, calls their innovation “clean fuel”, which has the additional benefit of using Carbon Engineering’s signature carbon sequestration technology at the “megaton-scale” to help remove carbon dioxide from the air.
“Unlike capturing emissions from industrial flue stacks, our carbon removal technology captures carbon dioxide (CO2) - the primary greenhouse gas responsible for climate change - directly out of the air around us,” says the company website. “This can help counteract today’s unavoidable CO2 emissions and remove the large quantities of CO2 emitted in the past that remains trapped in our atmosphere.”
The fuel synthesis facility is expected to produce around 100 million liters of ultra-low carbon fuel annually. When the renewable and “near carbon-neutral” energy source is burned, it will produce up to 90 percent fewer emissions than conventional hydrocarbons and can be used to replace fossil fuels completely or as an ingredient in fuel blends.
Crucially, using this renewable fuel doesn’t require any modifications to be made to existing airplanes, ships, trucks, or cars. Globe Newswire praises this fuel solution for providing “a pathway to significantly reduce transportation emissions,” and for also offering clean liquid energy for transport sectors that are challenging to electrify.
Construction on the facility is set to start in 2023, with operations targeted to begin approximately three years later.
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