View Full Version : Carbon Neutral Car Fuel

19th Oct 2016, 11:17
Produced by turning CO2 into ethanol. If made using solar/green electricity then burning it in a normal road vehicle will generate the same amount - carbon neutral without needing a complete complex new infrastructure as with electric cars - and retaining the energy density and range of present vehicles.

What's not to like?

Scientists accidentally turn carbon dioxide into ethanol fuel after reversing combustion process | The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/carbon-dioxide-ethanol-fuel-scientists-turn-greenhouse-gas-accidentally-reverse-combustion-a7369096.html)

19th Oct 2016, 11:39
If made using solar/green electricity

I agree, but it's a big IF, though - even if one could be sure it was used a lot of green energy isn't as green as people seem to think.

19th Oct 2016, 13:49
But "green" electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars have the same issue - but at the disadvantage in needing a complete new infrastructure to support them and range limitation, as well as every vehicle manufacturer needing to develop new power trains and production lines.

19th Oct 2016, 14:31
My favourite option for an easily achievable carbon negative fuel would be third generation biofuels with carbon capture on the manufacturing plant. I produced a study on a few of these for my employer and, while not quite economic yet, it's certainly technically feasible.

19th Oct 2016, 20:34
Technically, ethanol derived from plant matter is carbon neutral. Ethanol derived from CO2 is carbon negative (assuming the energy input to make this reaction possible is carbon neutral.)

19th Oct 2016, 20:58
The production is carbon negative, the use as a fuel is then carbon positive - assuming a neutral method of manufacture, the equation proving balanced.

20th Oct 2016, 03:52
Technically, ethanol derived from plant matter is carbon neutralNot if you account for all that Diesel and other fuels that get used in the growing, harvesting, and processing into ethanol. Depending on who's numbers you chose to believe, plant based ethanol can go anywhere from a 80% reduction in carbon to a net increase in carbon compared to just burning the stuff pumped out of the ground (I think the real number is ~50% net reduction in carbon, although it depends a lot on the plant feedstock used - corn is not particularly good).
As for the process ORAC linked, I've got my fingers crossed - that would be fantastic!

20th Oct 2016, 07:51
As for the process ORAC linked, I've got my fingers crossed - that would be fantastic!

It certainly would be - but I bet you will have cramp in your fingers before we see any real-world application of it.

20th Oct 2016, 08:53
AIUI carbon dioxide is only part of the issue. The other is that regardless of what and how all these things produce heat, in the overall scheme of things the most wasteful form of energy.

20th Oct 2016, 09:08
Excess heat can be converted into electricity and recycled into the production cycle.


20th Oct 2016, 10:23
Why stop carbon emissions? Carbon is good and plants like it. Surely Global Greening must be a good thing (Alarmist Scientists Are Trying To Hide News The Planet Is Greener (http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/10/19/ala/)) and trying to cut carbon emissions will harm that?

20th Oct 2016, 10:55
When all this global warming brouhaha took off I distinctly recall someone saying 16 years ago that it will only be a matter of time before scientists turn CO2 into a fuel.

Could it now be true?

20th Oct 2016, 11:19
No - it's in the wrong place in the energy well