Weizmann Institute solar technology to convert greenhouse gas into fuel

Jun 07, 2012

An Israeli-Australian venture will use solar technology developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of brown coal. The venture has been recently launched in Israel by NewCO2Fuels Ltd., a subsidiary of the Australian company Greenearth Energy Ltd., which has acquired an exclusive worldwide license for the solar technology from Yeda, the Weizmann Institute's technology transfer arm.

The Weizmann technology makes use of concentrated solar energy to dissociate carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen (O2). This method, developed at the Weizmann Institute by Prof. Jacob Karni, also makes it possible to dissociate water (H2O) to hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) at the same time it dismantles the CO2.

Carbon monoxide (CO), or its mixture with hydrogen called Syngas, can then be used as gaseous fuel, for example, in power plants, or converted to such as methanol, which can be stored, transported or used to power motor vehicles.

The method has proved successful in laboratory trials. NewCO2Fuels Ltd. is now building a solar reactor for the conversion of CO2 on an industrial scale. Part of the development is being performed in collaboration with the Canadian Institute for the Energies and Applied Research at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Greenearth Energy expects the new Israeli-Australian venture to help harness the vast brown in the State of Victoria in south-eastern Australia, whose use has been limited until now by the high content from this type of coal. The possibility of converting CO2 to fuel in a clean and efficient manner will turn brown coal into a source of environmentally friendly fuel.

Explore further: Imec demonstrates organic photovoltaics modules showing excellent optical properties, high efficiencies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Solar energy stored efficiently

Jun 26, 2005

Pilot solar power-plant delivers promising results For the first time solar energy has been successfully used in a pilot-plant to create storable energy from a metal ore. In a project funded by the EU, the Paul Scherrer ...

Recommended for you

Yale engineer to build 'hot' solar cells

11 hours ago

Associate professor of electrical engineering Minjoo Larry Lee has been awarded $2,540,000 to develop dual-junction solar cells that can operate efficiently at extreme temperatures above 750 degrees Fahrenheit. ...

Fracking's environmental impacts scrutinised

12 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually faired better than renewables on some environmental ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

haggai
not rated yet Jun 07, 2012
lukz intrestn.wht abt pullotion frm burning methanol .gues it wont cme out as co.??