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A small, private UK company has made 15 liters of working petrol out of water and air.

“We’ve taken carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water and turned these elements into petrol,” said Air Fuel Synthesis Chief Executive Peter Harrison.  The process of separation involves combining the air with sodium hydroxide and passing it through an electrolyzer.  A similar method is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The CO2 and hydrogen are then synthesized to make methanol, and eventually petrol.

Sound suspiciously too good to be true?  There are problems. Namely with production scale and efficiency.

However history repeatedly shows us that when the problem is a question of scale, innovation eventually finds the solution. The route from Kitty Hawk to the Concord was anything but direct, but commercial supersonic flights (and space tourism) are the direct descendants of the first flight.

We are looking forward to keeping an eye on this firm and their competition, which will also likely materialize out of thin air as well. And most important: how political dynamics will shift when the dependence of energy is no longer a regional issue.

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