The Fuels From Air Process
The FFA system uses renewable energy to capture carbon dioxide and water sources, though we have proved our ability to take CO2 from air.
We electrolyse the water to make hydrogen and react the carbon dioxide and hydrogen together to make liquid hydrocarbon fuels.
The FFA process, which provides a carbon-neutral, sustainable fuel alternatives to fossil fuels, isdriven by renewable energy. Thus the overall process of carbon dioxide capture, fuel production and fuel combustion is carbon-neutral and is already a commercially-viable alternative fuel source for specialist fuel markets such as motorsports.
What is more, most of the components of the FFA process exist either as demonstrations or are available off the shelf.
But the best news is that (once the capital investment is covered) the manufacture of sustainable, carbon-neutral FFA fuels is unrestricted by the price of raw materials, geo or local politics and avoids the land use or food availability issues that affect biofuels. Thus fuel production costs are low and predictable for the life of the plant.
FFA is developing relationships with renewable technology partners and financiers to scale up its operations and accelerate the pace at which commercial, renewable and sustainable plants are established. This will deliver commercially viable, carbon-neutral and sustainable fuel using renewable energy sources, rather than fossil fuels sooner – with early benefits in energy security, carbon footprint and first-mover advantages for early adopters of the technology.
The Fuels From Air Concept
We aim to reverse the process of combustion!
FFA uses renewable energy to do what nature does with photosynthesis, and convert atmospheric carbon dioxide back into organic molecules.
- 1 ton of oil contains 12 mwhrs of energy, FFA need, at present, 2.9 units of energy to make 1 unit energy in oil.
- Therefore a 5 MW wind turbine ( at full output ) would need 7 hours to make 1 ton of oil.
- So… to make all UK oil – 140,000 tons a day – as synthetic, would take a windfarm roughly 175 miles by 175 miles in area in the North Sea.
- To make only aviation, marine, and ,military fuel as synthetic, would take an area 72 miles by 72 miles. This is demonstrated below:
i) Air is fanned up into a tower and meets a dribble of a sodium hydroxide solution. The carbon dioxide in the air is absorbed by reaction with some of the sodium hydroxide to form sodium carbonate. Whilst there are advances in CO2 capture technology, sodium hydroxide has been chosen as it is proven and market ready.
ii) The sodium hydroxide/carbonate solution that results from Step 1 is pumped into an electrolysis cell through which an electric current is passed. The electricity results in the release of the carbon dioxide, Hydrogen and Oxygen which is collected and stored for subsequent reaction.
iii) Optionally, a dehumidifier condenses the water out of the air that is being passed into the sodium hydroxide spray tower. The condensed water is passed into an electrolyser where an electric current splits the water into hydrogen and oxygen. Water might be obtained from any source so long as it is or can be made pure enough to be placed in the electrolyser.
iv) The carbon dioxide and hydrogen are reacted together to make a hydrocarbon mixture, the reaction conditions being varied depending on the type of fuel that is required.
v) There are a number of reaction paths already in existence and well known in industrial chemistry that may be used to make the fuels.
(1) Thus a reverse-water-gas shift reaction may be used to convert a carbon dioxide/water mixture to a carbon monoxide/hydrogen mixture called Syn Gas. The Syn Gas mixture can then be further reacted to form the desired fuels using the Fisher-Tropsch (FT) reaction.
(2) Alternatively, the Syn Gas may be reacted to form methanol and the methanol used to make fuels via the Mobil methanol-to gasoline reaction (MTG).
(3) For the future, it is now a fact that reactions can be developed whereby carbon dioxide and hydrogen are directly reacted to fuels.
vi) The FFA product may benefit with the addition of small amounts of lubricants like silicone for use in gas turbines