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MM Blog: Renewable Fuel For Gas Engines

A look at a simpler way to fuel cars from carbon dioxide and water.

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Automakers are increasingly turning to lithium-ion batteries or hydrogen fuel cells as alternatives to conventional gasoline engines. But researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington may have found a path to a more environmentally friendly combustion engine. Their recently published study showcased a reactor that converts carbon dioxide and water into hydrocarbon fuel with a single step of concentrated light, heat and pressure.

UTA chemists said that the process is both simple and inexpensive, works in conventional cars, trucks and planes, and pulls greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The only byproduct aside from the fuel, meanwhile, is oxygen. Proponents also say that an improved chemical catalyst could eventually generate fuel using entirely solar power.



Could this type of technology be a boon for current automotive and aerospace giants? Or could the continued use of hydrocarbons — and increased use of water — pose environmental problems?

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