AIR

TO

FUELS™

This technology directly synthesizes transportation fuels – such as gasoline, diesel, or Jet-A – using only atmospheric CO₂ and hydrogen split from water, and powered by clean electricity.

Why is AIR TO FUELS™ technology important?

The transportation sector of 2050 will run on an energy mix unlike that of today. Low-carbon energy sources, renewable fuels, and innovative technologies are going to be required to power the transportation sector, preserve affordable mobility, and also make the deep emissions reductions targets agreed to in the COP21 Paris Accord and required to avoid climate risk.

CE’s AIR TO FUELS™ technology provides a tool to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation sector by recycling atmospheric CO₂ into liquid fuel and displacing crude oil. It gives an ability to harness low-carbon electricity such as solar PV, and material inputs of water and air, to generate fuels that are drop-in compatible with today’s infrastructure and engines.

This technology forms an important complement to electric vehicles in the quest to deliver carbon-neutral 21st century transportation. While short haul transportation is amenable to electrification, longer haul transport, as well as marine and air travel, require the high energy density of liquid fuels (liquid fuels like diesel have an energy density 30x greater than today’s best batteries). The AIR TO FUELS™ process offers a way to deliver these fuels, while avoiding the infrastructure turn-over of hydrogen fuel cells, and avoiding the land use and food security problems associated with biofuels.

What are the benefits of CE’s fuel?

This technology has several intrinsic advantages to offer in eliminating fossil carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector.

Renewable power usage

It can use carbon-free renewable power such as wind and solar at the best sites, and can accommodate the intermittent nature of this power source to continuously produce high value transportation fuels.

Less resource dependent

It can produce fuels with 100x less land use footprint and less water use than biofuels, and thus doesn’t suffer the fundamental limits to scaling associated with biofuels.

Blendable

The fuels produced can be blended with traditional fossil fuels to allow progressive emissions reductions by gradual fuel switching, with no blending limit.

Drop-in compatible

CE’s fuels are drop-in compatible with today’s infrastructure and engines so do not require infrastructure turn-over, and consumers can maintain their current transportation habits, while at the same time reducing their environmental impact.

Cost competitive

CE’s engineering work shows that AIR TO FUELS™ technology can produce fuels for less than $1.00 /L once scaled up, making them cost competitive with biodiesels. While currently more expensive than the production cost of fossil fuels, Low Carbon Fuel Standard regulations add to their competitive advantage, and allow market viability in leading jurisdictions today. The AIR TO FUELS™ process can deliver fuels that have an ultra-low life-cycle carbon intensity, or that are fully carbon neutral (depending on the energy source used to power the DAC component of the process).

Cleaner burning

CE’s fuels are cleaner burning than fossil fuels, with no sulfur and low particulates, meaning they not only reduce GHG emissions, but reduce air pollution too.

CE is actively seeking strategic partners to build full-scale commercial AIR TO FUELS™ facilities, and customers interested in supply agreements for our ultra-low carbon fuel.

Media and publications

Read Carbon Engineering’s features in the media, and our other published papers and articles.

How does AIR TO FUELS™ technology work?

AIR TO FUELS™ technology combines our Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology with several other advancing technologies, such as renewable energy, water electrolysis and fuels synthesis, to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels. In principle, a wide variety of hydrocarbons can be generated, but our focus is predominantly on diesel and jet fuel. This process has three major steps.

  • Step 1.

    Step 1: Our Direct Air Capture process captures and purifies CO₂ from atmospheric air.

  • Step 2.

    Step 2: Clean electricity (such as solar PV) is used to electrolyze water and generate hydrogen.

  • Step 3.

    Step 3: The CO₂ and hydrogen are thermo-catalytically reacted to produce syngas, and reacted again to produce hydrocarbons.

Direct to Fuels infographic
Above: The AIR TO FUELS™ process involves capturing CO2 from the atmosphere, producing green hydrogen with low-carbon electricity, and reacting the two to form liquid transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel, or Jet-A. Such fuels can be closed carbon cycle and can displace the need for crude oil.

Learn about where we are
and where we are going.

Pilot Plant rendering
We’re looking for motivated employees, investors, and partners.

About the CE Team

CE has the largest and most experienced technical and commercial teams in the air capture field.

News and Updates

Read recent updates on our technical developments and progress at Carbon Engineering.

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