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British Firm Demos Scalable Process For Creating Hydrocarbon Fuels Solely From Air and Water

Like so many other things once thought impossible, now making consistent and scalable fuel out of just air and water has become a reality - with huge potential for initially the automotive and then other industries.

Among those at the forefront of this new technology is Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS), a British firm which recently demonstrated a small scale prototype at a carbon capture event held by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (MechE).

AFS is currently demonstrating a five liter-a-day small scale, electricity-powered prototype unit that electrolyzes water to make hydrogen that reacts with carbon dioxide to make hydrocarbon fuels.

The company says that, “Any fuel or crude oil-based material can ultimately also be made from synthetic hydrocarbons produced by the AFS process … this includes methanol, gasoline, diesel, lubricants, and waxes as well as plastics and building materials, some of which have other substitutes, but few as useful and versatile as hydrocarbon base”

AFS expects that “the first commercial AFS plant will produce high-spec fuels for blending into motorsport applications” where the company finds the demand for carbon-reduction is particularly strong.

The current output of the technology is five-to-10 liters of liquid hydrocarbon fuel per day, with the company saying that it’s working to “develop relations with technology partners and financers to establish large scale supply capabilities.”

AFS says the ultimate goal is to reach a refining scale of over 1,000 tons of fuel a day. The company also says that the business is “currently adequately equity funded,” but is working to build an early cash flow through niche markets like motorsports.

The company says for the initial niche market, it can provide fuel blends at prices competitive with fossil fuels.

AFS boasts in terms of price stability that the manufacture of its fuels is unrestricted by the cost of raw materials, geo or local politics, and is unaffected by issues of land use or food availability.

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