Can high-tech photosynthesis turn CO2 into fuel for your car?

1) The problem is crude oil dependence.



Article title – Can high-tech photosynthesis turn CO2 into fuel for your car?

Website name – The Guardian

Website link –

What the technology does – The technology is artificial photosynthesis where solar energy is used to split water and carbon dioxide into hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. A catalyst then recombines the molecules to create liquid fuels, such as methanol. Methanol is the simplest hydrocarbon that works in internal combustion engines.

How the technology addresses the problem – The technology greatly reduces our dependence on crude oil and make use of the growing amount of manmade carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change


3) Stakeholders include: HyperSolar, University of Iowa, Solar Fuels Institute, the US Department of Energy, Sweden’s Uppsala University, Total France, Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, and Caltech’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis


4) Three steps to deploying this technology include:

Step 1 – Develop public-private partnerships to perform research on the developing technology.

Step 2 – Determine viable options to fund and/or finance research.

Step 3 – Once a team and funding is in place, determine a timeline for a pilot product to be complete.



One thought on “Can high-tech photosynthesis turn CO2 into fuel for your car?

  1. This is amazing I didn’t know this was already happening. A couple other things from the article:

    -China is already using this as gasoline at low levels (15% or less) at certain pumps and taxi and bus fleets run on high-level blends of 85% methanol or more.

    – Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have created a lab-scale device that turns 10% of the sunlight that hits it into fuel (plants can only convert 1-2% !)

    – There is still a ways to go, cost being a major obstacle. But, “When we develop a way to economically mimic photosynthesis, the impact on everything from global warming to our global economies is world changing,” says a guy working on it.


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