World Premiere: Creating Fuel From Sunlight and Thin Air Becomes Possible

World Premiere: Creating Fuel From Sunlight and Thin Air Becomes Possible
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Producing carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuels would sure be a major win for society, and scientists might have made a significant step towards that goal. Creating fuel using thin air and sunlight once sounded like a sci-fi scenario. But now, such an achievement was finally possible in reality, according to Daily Mail.

The researchers responsible for the achievement are delighted about it, but still, they admit that a lot of work is still needed.

Producing liquid fuel using thin air and sunlight

The new system starts doing its thing by capturing water and carbon dioxide from the air. The solar reactor will then be transforming them into a combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. In the end, many different hydrocarbons are created from the mixture.

An official statement from the researchers involved in the new achievement says, as quoted by Daily Mail:

Stable and successful outdoor operation of the overall system under intermittent solar irradiation convincingly demonstrates the technical viability of the thermochemical process chain for converting sunlight and ambient air to drop-in fuels.

While many of us hope that the innovative invention will arrive on the market as well, we can’t expect it to be possible too soon. Another statement backs up the idea, as cited by the same source:

But bringing such solar fuels to the market will require substantial process optimisation and upscaling, and this should be supported by policy schemes that enable market introduction at commercial scale.

Until further improvements, let’s stick to other good news: both sunlight and air are free to use by everyone, and they’re unlimited. We can consider them as some of nature’s miracles. Our life wouldn’t be possible without these elements, but exploiting them for even better outcomes is great.

Feel free to tell us your own opinion about the new achievement!


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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