Germany's Sunfire makes synthetic gasoline from water, CO2

While vehicles like Toyota's fuel-cell powered Mirai are leading the charge to a future less reliant on fossil fuels, Germany's Sunfire GmbH may have a way to bridge the gap with its method of producing synthetic fuel from water and carbon dioxide. By using two of the world's most abundant elements to create hydrocarbon fuel, a much great efficiency over fossil fuels can be achieved.

Sunfire's process works in part by creating steam via electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable sources, and removing the oxygen to produce hydrogen. Carbon dioxide is then pulled from the atmosphere, and used with the hydrogen in the Fischer-Tropsch process. Sunfire dubs this "Power-to-Liquid" technology, and says it can create fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and kerosene.

In its current state, Sunfire's machinery is able to run at 50% efficiency, and the company says it's possible to raise that to 70% in the future. However, 50% efficiency is already comparable to common diesel engines in use today, and completely blows away the 14-30% seen in gasoline engines.

The company's CTO, Christian von Olshausen, says it is feasible to see the process work on an industrial scale, but before then bureaucratic issues need to be addressed, including decisions made on regulatory factors. He adds that time is not to be wasted, however, as substituting fossil fuels in the long-term requires that action be taken today.


SOURCE Sunfire