Israeli Researchers Pioneer Green Crude Oil Alternative Made of Water and CO2

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By Jspace Staff on 11/13/2013

Israeli researchers have discovered a method to turn greenhouse gases into a cleaner burning oil alternative.

The process, which uses hydrogen and carbon dioxide to create a greener alternative to crude oil, was developed by scientists at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and is expected to be unveiled this week at the Bloomberg Fuel Choices Summit in Tel Aviv.

Scientists Moti Herskowitz, Miron Landau, and Roxana Vidruk led the Ben Gurion team in the creation and testing of the green fuel source, that is made from readily available water and CO2, the so-called ‘greenhouse gas’ and may one day replace crude oil.

“It is an extraordinary challenge to convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen to green feed,” Herskowitz said of the patent pending process his team pioneered.

“The technology is based on novel specially tailored catalysts and catalytic processes.”

Despite the relative abundance of the materials involved, the novel process, at least for now, also comes at a higher cost as compared by crude oil, but the team is currently experimenting with ways to lower costs and make the product more cost-competitive.

Even with pricing considerations, Herskowitz is confident that the product, which can be used with existing fuel infrastructures and requires no specialized equipment once produced, will be market ready in the next decade.

“Since there are no foreseen technological barriers, the new process should become a reality within five to ten years,” he said.

He added that, compared to existing biofuel alternatives such as ethanol, biodiesel and other bio-fuel blends, which are “less than ideal,” the technology created by Ben Gurion team represent the next generation of clean fuel solutions.

“There is a pressing need for a game-changing approach to produce alternative drop-in liquid transportation fuels by sustainable, technologically viable and environmentally acceptable processes from abundant, low-cost, renewable materials,” he said, noting that his team’s fuel source is “ready to go.”