It’s no secret that our world runs on petroleum oil. It’s amazing that with all the scientific evidence we have, no matter the effects on our environment, or the mounting costs we continue to incur; we simply cannot break our dependence on oil. Substantial work has been done on the topic and we’re finally starting to see some legitimate alternatives to fossil fuels. The Tesla electric car probably poses the realest treat the oil industry has ever seen and yet, we are still many years away from getting over our dependence. And that’s a best case scenario.
Luckily there is a German company who have developed a way to create synthetic oil by combining water and CO2 in a new manufacturing process that could hold us over until alternative fuels become viable. First, water is converted into steam and then separated into oxygen and carbon dioxide. Once the carbon dioxide is separated Hydrogen is used to reduce carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide. Finally, Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen are combined to create petroleum. Unfortunately, the whole process isn’t quite ready for mass production yet as it does require a lot of energy to complete the whole process. Still, the engineers are claiming that the process is 70% efficient which is much better than conventional engines.
The machines, which currently cost over 1 million dollars, can produce a barrel of fuel per day and will recycle 3.2 tonnes of CO2 in the process. Unfortunately, this falls woefully short of meeting our energy needs as the US alone consumes over 18 million barrels per day.