The technology, which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere produced five litres of petrol in less than three months at a small refinery in Stockton-on-Tees, Teeside.
Although the process is still needs to take electricity from the national grid to work, the company believes it will eventually be possible to use power from renewable sources such as wind farms or tidal barrages reports The Independent.
The £1.1m project has been in development over the past two years, and is funded by a group of unnamed philanthropists who believe the technology could be the future of renewable energy. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) officials said the technology was “too good to be true but it is true”, and could prove to be a “game-changer” in the battle against climate change.
“It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. They are doing it and I’ve been up there myself and seen it. The innovation is that they have made it happen as a process. It’s a small pilot plant capturing air and extracting CO2 from it based on well known principles. It uses well-known and well-established components but what is exciting is that they have put the whole thing together and shown that it can work.” Tim Fox from London’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers told The Independent.
Stephen Tetlow, the IMechE chief executive, hailed the breakthrough as “truly groundbreaking”. “It has the potential to become a great British success story, which opens up a crucial opportunity to reduce carbon emissions,” he said.