Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a promising reactor capable of producing fuel while recovering CO2.
The principle is simple: parabolic mirrors concentrate the sun's rays to obtain an energy comparable to that of 1500 suns. The flow is then directed to a reactor containing water and CO2. The operation turns it into synthesis gas (SynGas), corresponding to the preliminary stage to that of gasoline, kerosene or other fuels. By this process, cars and airplanes could travel with a neutral carbon balance.
This principle is no longer science fiction at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), where such a machine was developed. Professor Aldo Steinfeld and his team have built a prototype that achieved a promising performance. Other teams of scientists have already tested this method, but results were disappointing.
For the time being, the energy efficiency of the installation Zurich is 0.8%. It should reach 19% in 2020, according to calculations made by researchers at ETH Zurich. "We can then imagine the construction of industrial reactors that would take place in huge towers", provides Aldo Steinfeld. For this, the ETH researches partners.
The oil lobby is already showing strong interest. "We will closely monitor this development," said Rolf Hartl. The director of the Swiss Oil adds cautiously that, in the past, attempts to research to produce gasoline have failed to pass on an industrial scale.
(Translated with Google Translate)