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2008-01-10
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Sunlight to Petrol

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Tagged As: Technology

Scientists at Sandia National Labs have developed a working technique for reversing the hydrocarbon combustion process. In plain English, CO2 can be converted back into usable fuel like methane or even gasoline. Called the Sunshine to Petrol project, the process focuses rays of sunlight intensely onto rotating rings of cobalt ferrite. Heated to 2600 degrees Fahrenheit causes the rings to release O2, whereupon the temperature is dropped to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit so the rings can react with CO2 to produce carbon monoxide, a building block for generating fuel. Originally, the technique was developed to harvest hydrogen, but scientists decided to adapt it to create fuels used by existing infrastructure. The machine's inventor, Rich Diver, explains, "What’s exciting about this invention is that it will result in fossil fuels being used at least twice, meaning less carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere and a reduction of the rate that fossil fuels are pulled out of the ground."



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