University of Oxford researchers have devised as new way of converting CO2 into usable jet fuel, thus reversing the combustion process and opening the door for “carbon-neutral” jet fuels in the near future. To be more specific, they found an iron-based catalyst that converts carbon dioxide into jet fuel, and this powder is made of inexpensive ingredients, like iron, while transforming the CO2 in just a single step. Read more for a video and additional information.
When put in a reaction chamber with carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas, this iron-based catalyst helps separate carbon from the CO2 molecules from oxygen and link up with hydrogen, forming the hydrocarbon molecules that make up jet fuel. The leftover oxygen atoms from the CO2 then combine other hydrogen atoms to form water. The small reaction chamber was set to 300° C and pressurized to about 10 times the air pressure at sea level, and in a span of a little over 20 hours, the catalyst converted 38 percent of the carbon dioxide in the chamber into new chemical products. From those products, around 48 percent consisted of jet fuel hydrocarbons.
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