For an Israeli start-up, one answer to global warming is blowing in the wind.
The company called NewCO2Fuels, or NCF, has been developing its own version of a technology that allows heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions to be captured and recycled back into useable fuel.
It sounds complicated – and it is – but the company’s founders say it holds real potential in the fight against global warming.
Such capture technologies have gained increased attention as countries seek alternative methods of cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions, the main culprit in global warming.
“Our concept is to take the residue from the production of CO2 along with heat produced in industries and turn them into profit,” chief executive David Banitt said of the company located in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv.
The company is attempting to position itself in a new market offering what has come to be known as carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies.
A global race has been underway to develop such industrial-scale solutions. NCF hopes to begin offering its technology commercially before 2018 and estimates the global market at a potential $24 billion annually.
On a top floor of a building at Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science, the NCF team has been carrying out work on its prototype involving a solar power plant capable of producing syngas from CO2, water and heat.
The syngas can then be used to create synthetic fuels. A field of solar panels surrounds the building along with a mirror to heat the reactor to more than 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit). Within the reactor, the CO2 and water is used to produce the syngas, said Uzi Aharoni, the company’s head of operations.
The idea is for the technology to be used by plants that emit heat and CO2, such as steel or coal gasification plants. The CO2 would be captured instead of being sent into the atmosphere, then transformed back into fuel – a hi-tech recycling machine. More information can be found here.