According to bible scholars, Jesus turned water into wine more than two thousand years ago and that was a huge miracle. Fast-forward to 2014, we have another miracle stirring in front of us; a German company by the name Sunfire GmbH has successfully converted water and carbon dioxide into synthetic petroleum-based fuels. Now, that’s a technology miracle!
Sunfire GmbH created a machine that makes the impossible, overly possible. With this machine that can produce synthetic fuels, our dependent on fossil fuels could reduce drastically. Although, it may take a whole lot of time and resources to replace our existing technologies and infrastructures depending on fossil fuel, but this “miracle” does give a glimpse of how the future could look like.
How Does The Process Works?
The machine which takes the design of a rig uses the phenomenon called “Power-to-Liquid” to convert H20 and CO2 into liquid hydrocarbons – synthetic petrol, kerosene and diesel.
The role of SOECs is to convert electricity (from renewable sources like wind or solar) to steam. Oxygen is removed from this steam to produce hydrogen. How gracious!
The process goes along to the next step, where the hydrogen produced in the first step is used to reduce carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide. The result, H2 and CO and synthesized into high-purity fuels using Fischer-Tropsch process. The excess heat from the process is then used to create more steam and the process continues… Sunfire claims the efficiency rate stands at 70%.
“This rig enables us to prove technical feasibility on an industrial scale,” said Sunfire CTO Christian von Olshausen. “It is now a matter of regulatory factors falling into place in a way which gives investors a sufficient level of planning reliability. Once that has occurred it will be possible to commence the step-by-step substitution of fossil fuels. If we want to achieve fuel autonomy in the long term, we need to get started today.”
The rig, is currently only for demonstration, practicability and feasibility study. The capacity for CO2 recycling is 3.2 tonnes per day with a capacity to produce just a barrel of fuel daily.
The cost of designing the rig was “seven figures,” a large chunk of the funds came from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.