Forget about making cars that can run on water, how about a machine that can turn water into gasoline? That’s what a group of German chemical engineers have claimed to achieve. They have built a machine which is capable of synthesizing petroleum-based fuels from water and carbon dioxide. This machine can convert gases extracted from water into liquid hydrocarbon fuels.


Talking to RT’s Ruptly video agency, the CFO and co-founder of Sunfire GmbH, Nils Aldag, said that he would call this a “miracle” because it completely changes the way we produce fuels for cars, planes and also the chemical industry.

The machine, powered by electricity, employs a process known as Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis, which was first developed by German chemists Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch in 1925. It can convert colorless, odorless and incombustible carbon dioxide extracted from water, and hydrogen gas taken from water vapor, into liquid based fuels like jet kerosene and diesel via electrolysis.

Aldag does point out that producing fuels from this without “will always be more expensive” than from conventional means like oil and coal. The value creation has to be where the fuel is to be used, so cutting down costs of expensive infrastructure and oil transportation will result in savings, as fuel will be produce where its actually going to be used.

The company, Sunfire, hopes to have this machine ready for commercial use by 2016.

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