A team of researchers from Norway and Switzerland has put forward a proposal for ‘Solar Methanol Islands’ that convert atmospheric carbon dioxide to fuel. The islands would have to be clustered together to create large-scale facilities. If enough of these facilities were built, they could eventually offset the total global emissions from fossil fuels and thus help protect our climate from global warming. The researchers’ proposal has been published in PNAS.
The researchers argue that although a massive reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning is required to limit the extent of global warming, the reality is that carbon-based liquid fuels will continue to be important energy storage media in the foreseeable future. Therefore, they propose a combination of mostly existing technologies to use solar energy to recycle atmospheric carbon dioxide into liquid fuel.
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