Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Greenhouse Gas to Fuel

PostedMarch 2, 2008

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Randy Atkins:  Today's fossil fuels were formed over eons from prehistoric plant material made by photosynthesis.

Jim Miller:  Essentially we're doing the exact same thing.  We're taking the building blocks CO2, water, and solar energy.  And we're pumping the CO2 and water from their low energy states back up to a higher energy state.

Randy Atkins:  Only on a much faster timescale says Jim Miller, a chemical engineer at Sandia National Labs.  They're focusing sunlight to create intense heat, in a twist on solar power.

Jim Miller:  Rather than using that thermal energy to make electricity, we're proposing to do chemistry with it.

Randy Atkins:  And use a greenhouse gas to fill your tank.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103.5 FM, WTOP Radio.