Microsoft’s founder and one of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates, is funding experimental technology research to synthesize synthetic gasoline and diesel from carbon dioxide in the air. The Guardian daily reported.
Carbon Engineering engineers have successfully extracted carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air at the Squamish plant in the west of Canada, which they used to produce synthetic gasoline and diesel. They hope they will be able to apply the process on an industrial scale over time, the paper said.
Carbon Engineering was founded by Gates along with physicist David Keith, and the oil tycoon Norman Edwards is involved in the project. Recently, the company succeeded in breaking through a blend of gasoline and diesel in collaboration with California’s Greyrock, a synthesis of captured CO2 and hydrogen. Fuel will need to be further modified to make it fit for normal cars and trucks or to make aviation kerosene. Individual technologies such as carbon capture and fuel synthesis are not new to the Guardian. But their combination, augmented by the use of solar energy, could help to clean the air and at the same time get a new source of fuel, less demanding for water and soil than for biofuels.
The Gates company estimates that the technology would allow the production of fuel at less than a dollar (20.44 crowns) a liter. Refining a liter of gasoline or diesel oil is significantly cheaper. The Squamish plant can now remove from the air a ton of CO2 a day. In the second step, the hydrogen is separated from the water using solar electricity. In the third and final step, CO2 and hydrogen are synthesized into fuel. These are cleaner than fossil fuels. The Gates firm claims that its product will replace fossil fuels as an alternative to biofuels and a supplement to electromobility. While electro mobiles are suitable for short-distance transport, long-distance truck, shipping, and air transport will still require high-energy liquid fuel, he expects.
Gates has been the richest man in the world for many years, and last year he was the founder and head of Amazon Jeff Bezos. The founder of Microsoft is also known as a philanthropist, along with his wife, he has set up a foundation that annually contributes to various charity projects up to hundreds of millions of dollars.