This blog was originally based on a course ran by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin who also wrote a textbook for the module Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. Now working as an independent consultant, Nick continues to work in the area of environmental sustainability and looking at ways of making a difference without recriminations or guilt. Saving the planet is all about living sustainably.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CO2 -A problem today - A synthetic fuel tomorrow?

It is evident that increases in atmospheric CO2 are causing catastrophic and subsequent irreversible effects on our planet. Acknowledgement that a problem exists and taking action are two separate entities often confused. How many times have you heard someone say ‘’I know the effects of global warming and its repercussions!’’, yet that same person continues to live the same way week after week?. The time has come to forget the ‘what we know’ mind-set and concentrate on the ‘what we can do’ aspect.
Research by Scientists at the National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy in Denmark has identified a possible solution to increasing carbon emissions. The process of electricity generation by conversion of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and oxygen into CO2 and water vapour by Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) can in fact be reversed. This realisation is highly significant and means that by supplying electricity to these devices atmospheric CO2 and water vapour can be converted into carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which can then be combined chemically to make synthetic hydrocarbon fuels. Although the process costs money, there is a realistic possibility of producing synthetic petrol at a value of 73.97 cent per litre. Link
It may not be convenient, nor is it ideal but when solutions to carbon emissions are in short supply, something is better than nothing. Through continuous co-operation and interaction with one another the goal of becoming carbon neutral in future becomes highly feasible, and is something that we as individuals, communities, and nations should be backing 100%.
‘A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn'.
Ross McDonald

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