The method breaks down into 4 principal phases, in accordance to Prometheus’s investor products.
In action one particular, industrial admirers attract in air and blow it through a blend of drinking water and other compounds, which McGinnis says could incorporate sodium carbonate. That then commonly reacts with carbon dioxide molecules in the air, shifting a great deal of the carbonate to bicarbonate.
The resulting remedy then moves into a battery-like cell with a membrane in the middle and electrodes on either end, which takes advantage of electrical power to spark a collection of chemical reactions that generate complicated alcohols. It’s equipped with a catalyst primarily based on engineering certified from Oak Ridge Nationwide Laboratory. In an earlier description, that lab mentioned it experienced formulated a catalyst created from little carbon spikes embedded with copper nanoparticles. When a voltage was applied, it transformed carbon dioxide dissolved in h2o into ethanol “with a yield of 63%.”
Prometheus’s carbon nanotube membranes come into participate in in action three, separating the alcohols from the water.
And in a last step, unique catalysts are utilised to incorporate the alcohols and transform them into artificial gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel. In 2020, Prometheus licensed individual technological innovation from the Oak Ridge lab that can be made use of to create jet gas from ethanol, by means of a multistep method that depends on a novel however unspecified catalyst.
The all round method is significantly distinctive from the one other businesses converting captured carbon into fuels are getting. As McGinnis explained in a Joule commentary, the Prometheus methods can function under common atmospheric stress and at area temperature. The technological know-how also avoids the heat energy necessary to develop concentrated carbon dioxide as effectively as the funds charges of an electrolyzer dedicated to creating hydrogen. Instead, the company promises, it can synthesize alcohols straight from carbon dioxide dissolved in drinking water, and then transform all those into regular fuels.
If they’ve in truth figured out how to do this, it “could guide to significant energy and charge cost savings,” claims Evan David Sherwin, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford who developed the Environmental Science & Know-how study.
One of the last slides in the trader materials shows a Prometheus-branded gas station, with a pink neon “Zero Web Carbon” indicator advertising and marketing fuel selling prices of $3.50 a gallon and diesel at $3.75, perfectly down below present regular US charges.