Converting CO2 Into Clean Energy Becomes Feasible

Converting CO2 Into Clean Energy Becomes FeasibleConverting CO2 Into Clean Energy Becomes Feasible

A Canadian clean energy company and its founder who is a Harvard professor say that they have developed an affordable way to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into clean fuels. Carbon Engineering—a privately owned company funded by private investors, including Bill Gates and Murray Edwards—published an article describing its research in the scientific journal Joule on Thursday, Oil Price reported.

David Keith, the company's founder and professor of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and his colleagues say they have demonstrated for the first time a scalable and cost-effective solution for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Not only are the scientists sucking CO2 out of the air, but they are also commercializing a process that uses water electrolysis and fuel synthesis to produce clean liquid hydrocarbon fuels that are drop-in compatible with existing transportation infrastructure.

“Our clean fuel is fully compatible with existing engines, so it provides the transportation sector with a solution for significantly reducing emissions, either through blending or direct use. Our technology is scalable, flexible and demonstrated. Today, we’re actively seeking partners who will work with CE to dramatically reduce emissions in the transportation sector and help us move to a carbon-neutral economy,” Steve Oldham, chief executive of Carbon Engineering, said.

Keith said previous research and studies into direct air capture have suggested that removing a ton of CO2 from the atmosphere would cost $600, which is too expensive to be a feasible solution. “At CE, we have been working on direct air capture since 2009, running our pilot plant since 2015 and we now have the data and engineering to prove that DAC can achieve costs below $100 per ton. No prior research in the peer-reviewed literature provides a design and engineering cost for a complete DAC system– and this paper fills that gap,” he said.

Keith and the Carbon Engineering team have raised about $30 million so far and their next step will be to raise funding for a plant that can deliver fuels to market.


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