"Could concentrated solar energy be used to reverse combustion and convert carbon dioxide back into gasoline? That's what scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, NM, aim to find out by building a novel reactor that can chemically "reenergize" carbon dioxide.
The device uses a two-stage thermochemical reaction to break down carbon dioxide to produce carbon monoxide, says Nathan Siegel, a senior member of technical staffat Sandia's Solar Technologies Department and one of the researchers developing the technology. "Carbon dioxide is a combustion product, so what we're doing is reversing combustion," he says. The carbon monoxide can then readily be employed to produce a range of different fuels, including hydrogen, methanol, and gasoline, using conventional technologies."
The fact that our - thinking positively - future WV coal-to-oil conversion plants, like the 88 such units the Chinese intend building over the next five years, might produce a surplus of CO2, could, as we've earlier suggested, be a good thing.
If we're going to be stuck with the darned stuff, let's find a way to employ it, rather than spend a lot of money to stash it uselessly away. Never forget the true lessons of Thoreau and Walden Pond: Economy - using what you've got for all it's worth, and then using it again - is the essence of environmentalism.
Oh, and check out, again, the last statement of our excerpt:
"The carbon monoxide can then readily be employed to produce a range of different fuels, including hydrogen, methanol, and gasoline, using conventional technologies."
As if there were nothing to it. Of course you make liquid fuels from odd stuff like carbon monoxide (and coal), "using conventional technologies". For some people in the know, Mike, it's old hat.
Why don't we feel that way?