Research team in Zurich created and developed a technology to produce fuel from the air and sunlight


Converting air into a fuel for various engines used by the humans was an ancient dream. Now, it became reality and even more, there is a hope for developing an ecologic technology. An experimental plant in Zurich produces synthetic liquid fuels that release as much CO2 during their combustion as was previously extracted from the air for their production. More exactly, CO2 and water are extracted directly from the ambient air and later split using the solar energy. The mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide is then processed into kerosene, methanol, or other hydrocarbons. The researchers led by Aldo Steinfeld, Professor of Renewable Energy Sources at ETH Zurich, have been operating the mini solar refinery on the roof of ETH’s Machine Laboratory building in Zurich over the last two years. The technology is now sufficiently mature for use in industrial applications. The price was also calculated: the fuel would cost 1.20 to 2 euros per liter if it will be produced on an industrial scale. From dreams to reality, the solar fuels will need political support to secure their market entry.


Their immediate utility will be to replace the classic fuels used by the aircrafts to fly. In the future we can have the used at a large scale and the carbon equilibre established as balance between production and the effective use of a such fuel will be good for the environment helping the climate change crisis to have a better management.