The 5-part series on Carbon Engineering’s approach keeps bearing fruit. After the 7th and what we thought was final assessment was published, an independent energy researcher, one Leon di Marco, challenged our assessment. He’s spent a moderate amount of time publishing and talking about synthetic fuels, so we thought a follow-up article was warranted. Di Marco’s 1970s education was in electronics and solid-state physics and his career was in semiconductors and communications, but his current focus is on large-scale solar power and synthetic fuels.

If Carbon Engineering is making e-diesel, driving the same distance in a freight truck would cost at least 6.5 times as much and have 16 times the CO2 emissions as just using electricity in a Tesla Semi.

If you’ll remember from parts 6 and 7, we worked up a model where Carbon Engineering would turn CO2 captured with its natural gas-powered 2 kilometers of fans and 900 degree Celsius temperature device, and hydrogen electrolyzed from water using BC Hydro electricity, then converted it into methanol or wood alcohol. We compared and contrasted that with just using electricity directly in an electric vehicle to assess how odd this situation was.

We arrived at two summary tables which highlighted the comparisons. This first was the energy, CO2, and cost workup for creation of methanol. The second was the comparison to using the methanol as a gasoline additive or converting it to gasoline using one of several processes compared to just using the electricity in an electric vehicle. That […]

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