Fuel

  • Researchers at MIT have developed a new membrane-based system that can convert carbon dioxide emissions into useful alternate fuels. The process has been effectively demonstrated on a small-scale and the researchers hope to ultimately adapt the system to conventional fossil fuel-based power plants.
  • Finding a way to produce hydrogen simply and cleanly would go a long way toward eventual use of the gas as a fuel source. And that's exactly what researchers at the University of Cambridge (UC) have done, adding to a host of other green possibilities that have been proposed for creating the gas.
  • The humble leaf, which collects sunlight and uses that energy to turn carbon dioxide into fuel for the plant, has inspired scientists. Researchers have developed a molecule that uses sunlight to convert the problematic carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which can then be stored as a fuel source.
  • A transportable chemical reactor​ developed at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and spinoff company Ineratec that uses solar power to convert CO2 from the air and regenerative hydrogen from electrolysis into liquid fuels will be tested in a pilot plant.
  • Using genetic engineering, researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have modified algae to boost its hydrogen production by 400 percent. This could lead to algae being used to mass-produce hydrogen on an industrial scale.
  • Part of what you buy with a Bentley is a sense of exclusivity, but that can quickly evaporate with having to queue for gas like everyone else. The British marque is now trialing a new "concierge fuel service" where drivers can choose exactly where and when their vehicle is refueled.
  • Water injection has recently found a home on the BMW M4 GTS, but the technology hasn't really drifted down to more mundane metal yet. Bosch wants to change that, offering up its water injection technology with the promise of more power and better fuel efficiency from compact engines.​
  • 3D-printed electrical engines and adaptive wings are among the five technological concepts selected for NASA's Convergent Aeronautics Solutions project this year, which will now undergo a two-year study with a view to reducing aircraft fuel and emissions.
  • Used to make most of our disposable food and beverage containers, polyethylene is produced at a staggering volume of over 100 million metric tons each year, most of which ends up in landfills. Now researchers have devised a way to recycle this waste into usable liquid fuel.
  • A new system that combines two existing technologies — coal gasification and fuel cells — could up coal-burning efficiency to between 55 and 60 percent, in effect halving the amount of carbon dioxide produced for producing the same amount of energy using today's methods.
  • Last year, Nissan and Foster + Partners announced a joint brain trust to consider the Fuel Station of the Future. A vision has now been unveiled in which the Fuel Station of the Future is conceived as the home, the street, the city and indeed the car itself – but not, ironically, as a fuel station.
  • Researchers have demonstrated a one-step conversion of carbon dioxide and water directly into a simple and inexpensive liquid hydrocarbon fuel using a combination of high-intensity light, concentrated heat, and high pressure.