Gasoline from thin air isn’t science fiction — or is it?


Politicians can directly impact gasoline prices: This has been one of the more debated misconceptions. Crude oil prices make up the bulk of gasoline prices, and crude oil prices are set by the global market. Politicians can impact gasoline prices indirectly, but there is little direct impact they can have. (Haraz N. Ghanbari / Associated Press)

An English company has made gasoline with only air and electricity, causing experts to call the new technology a “game changer” against climate change and a solution to the global energy crisis.

Air Fuel Synthesis, which developed the technology, uses sodium hydroxide as a filter to capture carbon dioxide from air, according to The Telegraph. Hydrogen, which is harvested from water, is mixed with the carbon dioxide to produce methanol.

The methanol is then passed through a gasoline fuel reactor to create gasoline, according to The Telegraph.

The company has produced five liters of gasoline using the technology, The Telegraph reported. The company claims it can be used in any gasoline-powered vehicle.

“It has the potential to become a great British success story, which opens up a crucial opportunity to reduce carbon emissions,” Stephen Tetlow, the IMechE chief executive, told The Telegraph.

The British Institution of Mechanical Engineers has backed the technology, but no major oil companies have jumped on board with the technology.

The company hopes to expand its operations to the point where it can produce gasoline in larger quantities from the technology.

Critics have been skeptical of the technology, saying it would likely take more energy to produce the gasoline.

As Forbes wrote, the gaping hole in the process is that it would require a vast amount of energy that could be used in a more efficiently way.

“The system works in its chemistry, but it would be a very silly manner indeed of using the energy that process would require,” Forbes wroet.