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Making crude oil out of thin air?

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There is big news coming out of the Middle East that one of the hottest commodities can be made out of the earth’s two most common elements, carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

Energy could see a substantial progression of discovery thanks to a group of researchers at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev in Israel. The group reports that they have pioneered a process that converts carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas into a renewable alternative for crude oil.

The alternative has been dubbed “green feed” crude oil. This innovative idea was made possible by the use of nanomaterials which reduces the amount of energy in the catalytic process to make the oil.

If the green feed crude experiment proves to be successful, the liquid fuels made from carbon dioxide and hydrogen could be in the pipeline as soon as five years from now, barring no technological difficulties.

Green feed crude will ultimately change the commodity’s transportation process, reduce emission of air pollutants into the environment and revolutionize the oil market across the globe.

The oil can be refined into a renewable liquid fuel by using existing technologies and transported using existing infrastructure channels to fueling stations.

Prof. Moti Hershkowitz, Israel Cohen chair in chemical engineering and the vice president and dean of research and development at BGU, recently stated that they are able to use zero-cost resources (carbon dioxide, water, and energy from the sun) and combine them to get real fuels.

“BGU has filed the patents and we are ready to demonstrate and commercialize it,” Hershkowitz said.  “Ethanol (alcohol), biodiesel and/or blends of these fuels with conventional fuels are far from ideal,” he explained. “There is a pressing need for a game-changing approach to produce alternative, drop-in, liquid transportation fuels by sustainable, technologically viable and environmentally acceptable emissions processes from abundant, low-cost, renewable materials.”

BGU is no stranger to transforming the world’s energy sector. Doron Krakow, executive vice president of BGU released a statement saying, “Ben-Gurion University’s Blechner Center has been at the forefront of alternative fuel research and development, working with major American oil and automotive companies for more than 20 years.”

 

3 comments

  1. So…uh…where are you going to get the hydrogen from? Right now, the easiest source is….petroleum.

    Electrolysis of water is too expensive.

    • you should check your facts. hydrogen is used for processing fossil fuels. not the other way around. you can make hydrogen using zinc and acid.

    • Use a solar reflector genset dish with a Sterling engine (heat engine) with generator to produce electricity for the hydrolysis process. The technology has been available for quite a few years.

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