Fuel from CO2 emissions
There is no doubt that the energy model of the future will be completely different from that in which we were born and raised and which, in some ways, has influenced our culture and our customs.
All this passes from new discoveries and innovations and, with regard to new perspectives, one of the most interesting comes from the researchers of one of the most famous universities in the world: MIT.
Researchers at MIT are carrying out some interesting research to develop the transformation of carbon dioxide into fuel for cars, aircraft or other uses, converting one of the most harmful greenhouse gases into a resource.
This process uses a membrane that can be used to obtain fuel from CO2 emissions; this membrane, made from a compound of lanthanum, calcium and iron oxide, allows to separate the oxygen inside a CO2 vapor, in order to produce oxygen (O) and carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide can be used as fuel as it is or, with the addition of water or hydrogen, to create a liquid fuel, or to produce chemicals such as methanol for automotive use, etc.
However, this process requires a large amount of heat to activate the reaction. As the solution lies in the heat absorption in chemical form, the membrane makers (Xiao-Yu Wu and Ahmed Ghoniem), are thinking of applying the system to large energy production plants, where there are abundant amounts of waste heat.
Another problem to be solved is that of passing the oxygen on the other side of the membrane and for this in addition to the high temperature (around 990 ° C) it is necessary to decrease the pressure over the membrane (which economically makes little) ; the solution seems to reside in passing over the membrane of substances that oxidize easily (for example H and CH4) and which naturally and chemically attract oxygen.
The most interesting thing is that the process works with every concentration of carbon dioxide, in practice from 2 to 99%, and therefore it does not remain now to the researchers that to put more and more of this process.
When this technology can be exported in an industrial form, any country in the world will become virtuous, helping to derive energy from CO2 and to bring the values of this greenhouse gas to its natural levels.