Scientists Turn Air Into Gas

British company thinks it can help energy crisis in a big way
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2012 11:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – An amazing-sounding breakthrough from the UK: Scientists have found a way to extract carbon dioxide from air and mix it with water vapor to create a cleaner, clearer gas that can be used in existing cars and other forms of transport, reports the Independent. A company called Air Fuel Synthesis says it has made five liters of gas so far using a small, electric refinery, but it hopes to create a larger operation powered by solar or wind energy that could produce up to a ton of gas a day within two years, reports the Daily Mail.

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If it works on a large scale, the process could not only help ease the energy crisis but clean up the environment as well. "It sounds too good to be true, but it is true," says the chief of energy and the environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London. "They are doing it and I've been up there myself and seen it." The Independent's article is mostly gung-ho on the idea, but it notes that the process of extracting carbon dioxide from air is still too expensive to work well on a commercial scale—for now. (Read more carbon dioxide stories.)

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