Any way you slice it, CO2 emissions from power plants are a bad thing. One potential solution is carbon capture and storage, but the technology is decades away from reality and safety concerns about storing massive amounts of CO2 underground still linger. Recently researchers at the University of the West of England revealed another promising solution — they’re developing a process that transforms CO2 emissions into fuel.

The researchers are working on porous materials that absorb CO2 and turn it into chemicals that can make either car fuel or plastics. Details are sketchy, but Dr. David Fermin from the University of Bristol explains, “By combining clever material design with heterogeneous catalysis, electrocatalysis and biocatalysis, we aim at developing an effective carbon neutral technology.”

The technology is still very much in its infancy, and in fact the CO2-absorbing material doesn’t even exist yet. But one day, the porous materials could line factory chimneys and suck CO2 directly from the air — no underground storage required.

+ University of the West of England

Via PhysOrg