There’s a video that has popped up online with a brief discussion about how a company called Carbon Engineering in Vancouver, B.C. has developed a method to make fuel (almost) out of thin air. That’s not the full truth, of course, but for those of us with limited time/attention span it’s a close description. Let’s also consider that the process will clean up our atmosphere. Are you with me so far?

It turns out that the Guardian newspaper did a piece about this as far back as 2010. In this article it discusses the general plan to make vehicle fuel by using Co2 in the atmosphere, how the technology has been used in the past and the very difficult R&D required to make it a reality. Fast forward to now, and it’s a happening thing.

Video: How CO2 Could Be The Future Of Fuel

Are you excited yet? You should be!

For those of us who like to read the fine print and get really interested in the detail, a paper was published in June 2018 which has a great deal of information, with graphs, tables, annotations and everything. They don’t use too many big words and once you get used to the 2-and-3LA’s it’s not impossible to follow. It’s very exciting, actually.

Here’s the thing. This is a technology which uses a process called Direct Air Capture to pull Co2 out of the air to convert into fuel for our cars, it also reduces the amount of Co2 we pump into the atmosphere when we use that fuel in our vehicles. All vehicles. A very good point is made in that we aren’t developing electric engines for aeroplanes, freighters, and while I had heard a radio ad for electric tractors we’re probably a long way from seeing them on all of our farms. Back to my point – it cleans the air. From anywhere in the world.

I’m not a scientist, and like in many other aspects of our lives I rely on the fact that there is a subject-matter expert who’s expertise I can draw on rather than getting a degree every time I need something done. I’m going to go along with what is being described here because this to me is very, very exciting. I’m seeing myself driving a hybrid vehicle running on this fuel, and it sounds like an awesome step in the right direction.

Let’s consider the very dire warning that has recently been handed down to us all by our leading climate scientists in the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C before things really get out of control, environmentally speaking. The report states that unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and feasible, although ambitious.

Well hello there!

We all know that there is not one simple step to fix our environment. We all need to play our part, and we are doing our best in our own home and work environments, but this certainly sounds like it’s worth another look, yes? Our amazing PM Jacinda Ardern is fully aware of our climate situation, and has recently stated that as well as our agriculture needing a clean-up, so do our transport methods.

Hi Jacinda – over here!

I would love to find out whether this has been discussed in New Zealand.:

  • Does our own Climate Leaders Coalition even know about this, and are they going to look into it?
  • Are NZ fuel companies aware of this, are they going to look into it?
  • Could we expect to see this as an alternative to our current fuel in the same way unleaded fuel replaced leaded fuel (although there is no conversion required)?

If anyone knows one way or the other, then please get in touch.