Researchers may have found a way to reduce the environmental impact of air travel. Scientists at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in the UK have successfully turned CO2 into jet fuel. This seems they found the possibility of conventionally-powered aircraft with net zero emissions. The team heated a mix of citric acid, hydrogen and an iron-manganese-potassium catalyst to turn CO2 into a liquid fuel capable of powering jet aircraft. Also important, the approach is inexpensive, uncomplicated and uses commonplace materials. In this stage of the research the lab method only produced a few grams of fuel. It is needed to work much to imagine a method to work sustaining a real jet flight but it might be one of the most viable options for fleets.
If the carbon can be captured from the air in high-enough volume, converted into energy at great enough efficiency and then re-emitted, a plane could theoretically fly ‘carbon neutral’. “The recycling of carbon dioxide as a carbon source for both fuels and high-value chemicals offers considerable potential for both the aviation and petrochemical industries,” theresearchers said.