Electricity From Liquid Fuel? UCLA Researchers Say Yes
(AOL Energy) Researchers at UCLA say they have come up with a method for converting electrical energy into a liquid fuel, in a development that could lead to regular petrol cars being powered by electricity.
The process, which uses carbon dioxide (CO2) as a bi-product, was recently discovered by James Liao of UCLA’s Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Chair in Chemical Engineering.
Liao and his team genetically engineered a microorganism inside an electro-bioreactor to produce the liquid fuel isobutanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol. CO2 was also present while electricity provided the sole energy input.
…”The current way to store electricity is with lithium ion batteries, in which the density is low, but when you store it in liquid fuel, the density could actually be very high,” Liao said in a press statement.
In addition, he said the liquid fuel could be introduced at the pumps as a direct replacement to gas, meaning there would be no need to change the way cars are produced.
…”we are using solar panels to convert the sunlight to electrical energy, then to a chemical intermediate, and using that to power carbon dioxide fixation to produce the fuel,” Liao said. “This method could be more efficient than the biological system.” READ MORE and MORE (University of California Los Angles) and MORE (Biofuels Digest)