Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS), the company that claims to have achieved this, is currently running a demo plant in Stockton-on-Tees in North England. Peter Harrison, AFS’ chief executive, said “We’ve taken carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water and turned these elements into petrol.”
“The unit we have here is a demo facility to show the processes can work,” he added. According to AFS, the engineering processes involved in this technology have been supported by Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Some of the investors are Dr Dominic Emery – Chief Development Officer for BP Alternative Energy; and Andreas Schamel; Ford’s Chief Engineer Powertrain Research & Advanced Engineering Europe.
The petrol manufactured or synthesized through the process looks and smells like the real petrol but doesn’t contain any additives and hence is more clean and clearer. The company claims that the fuel can be used in any regular petrol tank. As far as the results go, they look promising but, more work is required before the entire technology can be used for actual production purposes, which could be sometime in 2015.
“We think that by the end of 2014, provided we can get the funding going, we can be producing petrol using renewable energy and doing it on a commercial basis,” Harrison said. The company hopes to build a commercial version that would allow for production of a ton of petrol a day.