Israeli scientists are working on creating “green” fuel for cars from greenhouse gas emissions.
The project makes use of technology developed by Professor Jacob Karni, head of the Weizmann Institute of Science Energy Center in the department of environmental sciences of energy research. Karni is also a supervisor for the institute's solar program.
Together with Dr. Avner Rothschild from the Technion in Haifa, Karni received a $200,000 grant in 2010 to carry out the research from the Israel Strategic Alternative Energy Foundation, based in Silicon Valley.
The technology uses concentrated solar energy to divide the two oxygen molecules in carbon dioxide, thereby creating oxygen and carbon monoxide. It also divides water into hydrogen and oxygen, and allows for the synthesis of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into a mixture called “Syngas.”
The gaseous “Syngas” is then converted into methanol for use as fuel for a vehicle.
Methanol is already being used as a fuel for cars in several countries around the world.
Ten Gasoline is in partnership with Dor Chemicals to test a blend of methanol and gasoline here in Israel.
The Israeli startup NewCO2Fuels Ltd and Australian partner Greenearth Energy Ltd have acquired the technology license for the project, and intend to begin a pilot project shortly.