02 May 2019, 13:35
Kerstine Appunn

New technology could turn CO2 and water into synthetic fuel with existing AC units, researchers say

Nature Communications

A new system run together with existing air conditioning units could capture water and CO2 from the air to synthesise a renewable hydrocarbon fuel, researchers led by Roland Dittmeyer from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Geoffrey Ozin of the University of Toronto propose in a paper published by Nature Communications. The synthetic oil, called “crowd oil” by the researchers, could thus be produced in houses, apartments and offices around the world, and if the applications are run with renewable electricity, they would generate clean energy that could be shared and stored. The system would also be able to “capture a significant amount of carbon dioxide” from the atmosphere, the researchers say. The authors report their preliminary technical analyses of three practical cases in the Frankfurt Fair Tower office building, a typical grocery store and low-energy houses.

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