Carbon Recycling International specializes in capturing CO2 from industrial emissions and converting it into Renewable Methanol (RM), a fuel which can be blended with gasoline to meet renewable energy directives. Previously the group has harnessed CO2 from urban pollution and Icelandic power plants, but now they are setting their sights on something more explosive – volcanoes.
Photo by johan wieland
Carbon Recycling International is seeking to develop a commercially viable way of making liquid fuel directly from carbon dioxide. The ambitious plan could reduce global CO2 levels while producing a renewable source of energy. In Iceland, the company has developed system that captures CO2 from fossil-fuel power plants and from geothermal vents – and now they’re setting their sights on volcano power.
K-C Tran, CEO of Carbon Recycling International, says the new fuel type, which would be called Vulcanol, has enormous potential. While the technology certainly sounds like it could change the world, there are certain problems – mainly that it is really expensive. Extremely high temperatures are needed in order to produce liquid fuel from carbon dioxide on a large scale, and the systems involved are prone to breaking down.
This puts the price point well above fossil fuels for now. Matthew Kanan, a professor of chemistry at Stanford, says that for fuel made from CO2 to become widespread, governments will likely have to make it more expensive to emit carbon dioxide. “You can’t compete with oil out of a well,” he noted.