Toward Carbon Free Petroleum Cars

On-board sequestration could make zero carbon dioxide emission petroleum cars possible, according to research conducted by Dr. Andrei Federov and David Damm at the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. According to Science Daily:

…the Georgia Tech team outlines an economically feasible strategy for processing fossil or synthetic, carbon-containing liquid fuels that allows for the capture and recycling of carbon at the point of emission. In the long term, this strategy would enable the development of a sustainable transportation system with no carbon emission.

Ultimately, the approach would involve carbon capture within petroleum vehicles. The petroleum would be processed into hydrogen, for propulsion and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide would be converted, on board, to liquid fuel and removed at gasoline stations. The liquid fuel would then be sent to power plants, where it would be used to produce electricity. As the necessary infrastructure is being developed, the captured carbon dioxide would be removed at gasoline stations and “sequestered in geologic formations, under the ocean or in solid carbonite form.”

This breakthrough demonstrates that it is not necessary to target the automobile or the automotive lifestyle that pervades modern living to achieve sufficient reductions in greenhouse gases. This is particularly important, given the imperative for maintaining economic growth and employment growth, which is closely linked to high levels of personal mobility.

The research was financed by the United States federal government and the Georgia Tech “Creating Energy Options” program.