The transportation sector of 2050 will run on an energy mix unlike that of today. Operators are demanding increasing quantities of low-carbon energy sources and renewable fuels, and the sector is searching for next generation technologies to help reduce emissions and achieve climate targets. Carbon Engineering’s AIR TO FUELSTM technology provides a highly scalable solution that can help address these growing needs.


CE’s AIR TO FUELSTM solution delivers synthetic liquid fuels – such as gasoline, diesel, and jet-A – out of air, water and renewable electricity.

It has long been technically possible to produce synthetic liquid fuels from hydrogen and CO2 using mature technologies like Fischer-Tropsch. This fuels pathway, however, has been too cost intensive to be economically feasible – until now. The combination of CE’s industrial-scale capture of atmospheric CO2, new regulatory incentives for low carbon fuels, and recent reductions in the cost of electrolysis and carbon neutral electricity, has made carbon neutral synthetic fuels economically viable today.

Using an approach called the AIR TO FUELSTM solution, CE can produce synthetic liquid fuels that are drop-in compatible with today’s infrastructure and engines and are almost completely carbon neutral. AIR TO FUELSTM technology is highly scalable, cost-competitive with biofuels, and delivers fuels that have an energy density 30 times greater than today’s best batteries.

How AIR TO FUELSTM Technology Works
CE’s AIR TO FUELSTM technology has three major steps:
Step 1: Our Direct Air Capture process captures and concentrates CO2 from atmospheric air.
Step 2: Clean electricity (such as solar PV) is used to electrolyze water, splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen.
Step 3: The CO2 and hydrogen are thermo-catalytically reacted to produce syngas, and reacted again to produce hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons can then be refined into drop-in compatible gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
How AIR&nbspTO&nbspFUELS<sup>TM</sup> Technology Works
Features and Benefits of the AIR TO FUELSTM Solution

Ultra-low lifecycle carbon intensity

CE’s AIR TO FUELSTM 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 system). Burning CE’s fuel would re-release the CO2 that was captured to make it, but the process would add little or no new carbon emissions to the air.

Drop-in compatible

CE’s fuels are drop-in compatible with today’s refineries, infrastructure and engines so do not require the financial and environmental cost of completely replacing the world’s transportation network.

Highly scalable

Due to an unlimited feedstock – atmospheric CO2 – CE’s fuels can be produced in global-scale quantities to meet growing demand for ultra-low carbon fuels.

Cost competitive

CE’s fuels can be produced for approximately $1.00/L once scaled up, making them cost competitive with biodiesels. While currently more expensive than the production cost of fossil fuels, when paired with regulatory incentives for ultra-low carbon fuels, such as Low Carbon Fuel Standard regulations, the cost becomes competitive in leading jurisdictions today.

Cleaner burning

CE’s fuels are cleaner burning than fossil fuels, with no sulfur and low particulates, meaning they not only reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, but contribute far less to local air pollution too.

Less resource dependent

CE’s fuels can be produced with 100 times less land and significantly less water than biofuels, and thus don’t suffer the fundamental limits to scaling associated with biofuels.

Location independent

AIR TO FUELSTM plants can be built in any country and in multiple climates, and can be economically located to take advantage of low cost local energy or proximity to demand center.


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

Storage of surplus renewable energy

The AIR TO FUELSTM process 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 fuels. These fuels are then a stable way of storing that low carbon energy so it can be easily transported using existing pipeline and distribution infrastructure.
Staff member holding CE's clean fuel made from CO<sub>2</sub> captured from the air and hydrogen split from water.

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