Breakthrough promises $1.50 per gallon synthetic gasoline with no carbon emissions


January 26, 2011

Cella Energy CEO Stephen Voller exhibits his breakthrough technology - right shows the fuel's hydrogen microbeads under a microscope

Cella Energy CEO Stephen Voller exhibits his breakthrough technology - right shows the fuel's hydrogen microbeads under a microscope

UK-based Cella Energy has developed a synthetic fuel that could lead to US$1.50 per gallon gasoline. Apart from promising a future transportation fuel with a stable price regardless of oil prices, the fuel is hydrogen based and produces no carbon emissions when burned. The technology is based on complex hydrides, and has been developed over a four year top secret program at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Early indications are that the fuel can be used in existing internal combustion engined vehicles without engine modification.

According to Stephen Voller CEO at Cella Energy, the technology was developed using advanced materials science, taking high energy materials and encapsulating them using a nanostructuring technique called coaxial electrospraying.

“We have developed new micro-beads that can be used in an existing gasoline or petrol vehicle to replace oil-based fuels,” said Voller. “Early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification.”

“The materials are hydrogen-based, and so when used produce no carbon emissions at the point of use, in a similar way to electric vehicles”, said Voller.

The technology has been developed over a four-year top secret programme at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, UK.

The development team is led by Professor Stephen Bennington in collaboration with scientists from University College London and Oxford University.

Professor Bennington, Chief Scientific Officer at Cella Energy said, “our technology is based on materials called complex hydrides that contain hydrogen. When encapsulated using our unique patented process, they are safer to handle than regular gasoline.”

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

Hydrogen comes from oil, so how is this better?

Facebook User

This is possibly the breakthrough of the century...and we heard about it on Gizmag?

Jay Wilson

I hope this is real. This would be the best option, above all other options, out there.

Gasoline is dirty and we shouldn\'t depend on the Middle East. Ethanol is a bad choice as it devours farms because the process is more than 10:1. Electric Vehicles are good on paper but the energy consumption, over time, is far too high. Hydrogen is a good option but most of us will never see that happen...

Until Water Powered Vehicles are available, I find this to be the best, cheapest option out there... providing the energy required to manufacture the stuff isn\'t out of control.

Then again, if they\'re willing to charge $1.50 per gallon, their overhead must not be very high.

Facebook User

Just think of what wonderful things would happen to the middle east if all their funding was suddenly and completely CUT OFF.

Sean Ellwood

Check out the company\'s website; their claims are not nearly so optimistic as the ones in this article. Still, I\'d very much like to see this technology come to fruition.

Brutal McKillins

This sounds really good!

Presumably this cost will translate to around $4 a gallon after the UK and European governments apply their taxes. In the UK fuel (petrol) taxes currently add roughly a further 167% on top of the basic cost (i.e. the motorist pays 2.67 times the basic fuel price).

On the other hand, even at $4 per gallon, that\'s only $0.89cents a litre (roughly £0.56p in UK terms) and less than half the current price.

So how soon can we start buying it please?


If this is real, it is a serious game changer for world economies, politics, etc.

Daryl Sonnier

So where does one get the hydrogen? For $1 gal equivalent no less. Pure hype.

Charles Hart

Wow. If real this is a huge breakthrough. A real game changer!

Jonathan Hatfield

um, the energy consumption for electrics is too high? They are the most energy-efficient vehicles available, by a factor of 2. Maybe you mean that they pull too much demand from the grid. I\'ll go with that.


Is it April 1st already?


Far out. Hope so too!

Ronny Katzenberger

Congratulations. Major breakthrough in fuel source.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Anumakonda Jagadeesh

Some oil tycoons henchman is cleaning his laser sight and staring at a picture of Proffessor Benington as we speak.

Emmett Short

So, there isn\'t anyone here worried about releasing nanoparticles into the environment. And since when is hydrogen cheaper than gas.

Seems to good to be true/ready.


Maybe one of us should ask these guys about it...

\"Professor Stephen Bennington, CSO of Cella Energy, to present \'A facile nanotechnology approach to improving the performance of complex chemical hydrides\' at the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Expo at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, in the greater Washington, DC area, on February 14, 2011.\"

Brently Gill

I can\'t stop dwelling over the passus \"no carbon emissions at the point of use\". What does that actually mean? Ethanol does not have any carbon emissions at the piont of use either but the producionchain needs quite a lot of energy and that often is provided with fossile fuel. Is this just another version of shifting the emissions? I so hope I\'m wrong and this is a lot better but it still is just a short term solution because it means we would still be stuck with the internal-combustion engines that waste 60-70% of the energy.

Conny Söre

I hope this is real and not just another version of cold fusion. But if it is real, expect big oil to step in -- buy it and bury it.

This will NEVER, EVER see the market place......



Tony McCoy

\"Just think of what wonderful things would happen to the middle east if all their funding was suddenly and completely CUT OFF.\"

Fuel is not the only use for oil. Even this fuel breakthrough relies on a polystyrene scaffold, which comes from oil. So this is possibly the best interim solution to full-on hydrogen powered vehicles rather than some kind of oil-free solution to our energy problems. Not to knock this breakthrough though... This is amazing stuff.


I\'m guessing the price depends on the source of the hydrogen. And I believe the cheapest way to get that now is from oil.


IF this is real...and viable. It will be buried by the Oil industry...with millions or billions of dollars. The oil companies are making WAY to much money to let this see the light of day.

The only way this would work is if they released it into the public domain where it couldn\'t be swallowed up by corporate greed.

Michael Goyette

It all seems relatively legit. There\'s some scientific explanation of how it works on their website,

Stephen Peddle

JK: Is this another Beorn development?

If this is real, could be interesting. But, much needs to happen between now and when it is delivered to a fuel pump. Testing, regulatory hurdles, marketing, distribution licenses, point-of-sale tank and pump re-engineering (if req\'d), engine durability testing, stamp of approval from car manufacturers (seals and pump issues?), etc.

It would be nice to generate hydrogen-based nano-fuels from nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric power...and keep our internal combustion engine benefits (power, distance).

I\'m still a big fan for an electric/hybrid for short-distance commuting, but would love this option in the future for my V-8 musclecars (in lieu of $8/gallon gas).

Matt Rings also looks like there is a significant requirement to collect the waste encapsulation polymers from every tank of fuel, and recycle it. That also makes it less commercially viable for consumers who don\'t want to deal with \"emptying the tank\" just to get a fill-up. (See website: \'Technology\' tab)

Matt Rings

Great. More hydrogen hype. This is just another hydride with low energy density. OK, you don\'t have to worry about high pressure cryogenic storage and you don\'t need to worry about evaporation and leakage, but the energy density of this stuff is crap. According to the Cella website they can only get 6%wt desorption of hydrogen. That means most of your \"fuel\" is dead weight you get to carry around. And they have the audacity to suggest they could use this in rocket motors?!

Plasma Junkie

Believe it when I can actually buy it and for the stated $1.50 per gallon.

How many many many times have we seen these fantastical claims that never see the light of day?


are you all stupid? do you know what hydrogen is? do you drink oil every day? do you know what H2O is? you don\\'t get it from oil dumb asses. it is the most abundant ((obtainable) versus anti-matter)) substance in the universe, collectible even in space. Seperate water into it\\'s TWO parts and you get hydrogen and oxygen, it\\'s everywhere. GEES Really made me roflmao over such ridiculous comments as \\"hydrogen comes from oil\\" hahahahahahahahahaha

doug young

Oil companies won\'t allow to this.

Facebook User

To doug young:

hydrogen maybe the most abundant substance in the universe, but we can\'t get it for free. It takes more energy to split water than hydrogen produced, which basically means we need to spend more energy to get less energy. And to my knowledge almost all of hydrogen produced in the united states comes from fossil fuel.

bio-power jeff

The article doesn\'t articulate this very well, but this is a hydrogen storage technology, not a hydrogen production technology. It still could be a great breakthrough, though. It is currently too cost prohibitive to generate, pressurize, and safely store pure hydrogen. The hydrogen will most likely be produced using natural gas reformers (sorry to disappoint you, doug young), then stored in liquid form using Cella Energy\'s technology. FYI, natural gas reforming (to produce hydrogen) generates CO2, but does so in a controlled environment (a factory), where is can be sequestered, if we choose to do so.


Gizmag really needs to get some writers with some science education and a sceptical attitude. Articles like this make you guys look a little silly.

Facebook User

the main problem with this nano bead technology is that the waste product is a polystyrene goo that needs to be removed from the car and recycled, it may well work with current internal combustion engines, but not with current fuel tanks.

I\'d love to see cheap clean fuel, don\'t think this is it though. Hydrogen much like electricity is NOT a fuel it\'s a way of storing energy. you have to produce the hydrogen first and that takes energy.

Neil Harper

When we burn H2 it becomes H2O.

Damp water in itself is a Greenhouse gas!

Short living, but still a Greenhouse gas.

What will be the consequence when millions and millions of cars use H2 and produce H2O?

More rainfall? And a ongoing climate warming?

Harry van Trotsenburg

to sleep, perchance to dream, ahh - there\'s the rub !

scroll to the top!

Anybody besides me think this looks like the wiki-leaks guy Julian A** ?

Facebook User

Wow, it took 5 minutes for the \"Big Oil\" conspiracy dweebs to start fapping. Right on schedule.

So the \"point of use\" releases no carbon. How much carbon is used to manufacture these nanoparticles?

More marketing for the bunny-humping ecosimps without any actual substance.

Iman Azol

...wondering if this has something to do with the rapid rise of EV consciousness...

let\'s get over it, ICE is doomed with its 30% (at most) efficiency. An electric motor with 90% (at least) efficiency is here to take over.

All funding should go to enhance battery technologies. Unless off course funding is petro$$$


This technology should be open-sourced to speed up its deployment to market.

Eric Kotonya

\"Ethanol does not have any carbon emissions at the piont of use either \" Yes it does. C2H5OH 3O2 => 2CO2 3H2O What puzzles me is what happens to the hydride. once the hydrogen is used. Does it sit in your fuel tank. does your car spray it out the exhaust??


Perhaps they get the hydrogen from polluted water sources, but I doubt it. But even if it doesn\'t come from scarce potable supplies, there is still the matter of transport, pipe lines, etc., unless we can purchase a dehumidifier which pulls water vapor from the air and process it in our own homes, or maybe on board our vehicle of choice. Nonetheless, an potentially earth-smooching development! A new one every day or so ...


The majority of comments that I have seen are similar to this statement:

\"This is too good to be true, so it can\'t possibly work\"

My only retort to this is: Aren\'t all the greatest things today once thought to be too good to be true? No way could a company compress and search through massive amounts of data via the internet and find a exact match to what you wanted to find... but now we have Google. And discovering one algorithm increased the speed of the internet exponentially. I mean, this is a age where anything is possible... Give it a chance. If its wrong its wrong, but don\'t disprove something like this until you\'ve seen it work or fail.

Travis Stratton

This is a great idea. In fact, there have been many great ideas about how to beat the energy crunch. The problem isn\'t lack of ideas, or solutions, rather it is the vermin who, at the top, don\'t want a solution.

They think there are too many people and they think we are using too much of \"their\" resources. From their standpoint, any solution that made energy costs go down would be disasterous.

The want us poor, powerless, and centralized. Energy independence doesn\'t fit into their plans.


Ken Steen

While most of the worlds hydrogen is created using fossil fuel energy sources, many solar, wind and hydro farms use the any excess energy generated to produce hydrogen. This technology could lead to safer and cheaper storage methods of that hydrogen so I still think it has a great many uses. As a replacement of gasoline though I see it as little more than a short term solution. The same could be said for most sequestering processes.

Facebook User

For once I think I must go along with the negative opinions. I just don\'t believe it! If it isn\'t a hoax, and maybe not, think of what happened to the proven molybdenum plating....that used minimum lubrication and obviated wear on contacting surfaces.... [forget the liquid disulphide form that was useless, and made large profits]...It will disappear into the maw of the oil giants.


When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When?


Oxigen burns to people.

Hydrogen powered cars would have better performance if you burned the oxigen that is produced from hydrogen manufacturing instead of wasting it. Burn both at the same time and power to weight/production costs as a fuel go\'s way up. Hydrogens numbers are ok by themselves but you are throwing away one third of the useable product when spliting water for fuel.

Facebook User

This is a good development, but the $1.50 a gallon price is pure fantasy. What this really is is a practical hydrogen storage and delivery mechanism for use in vehicles and similar applications. The question of the cost of producing the hydrogen this will deliver is still open. Way open!


Hydrogen is not something that WE produce. It exists, and we use it in many forms. Excess energy in the form of electricity can split water or some other hydrogen rich molecule into H2 which is normally a gas. It is VERY energy rich by weight and very energy poor by volume. This is an attempt at making it a little more available for our uses. I am not yet convinced they have succeeded. Another approach that I have recommended in the past is to use any excess electricity for hydrogen gas production and to put that into the natural gas pipelines that cross most of the USA. Hydrogen burns very similar to natural gas or it can be separated back out for use as hydrogen. Storage becomes as simple as storing natural gas which is done in very large quantities today. We have an abundance of natural gas and we have an abundance of hydrogen. Both can serve us well if we use them properly. As for Carbon, we need it. It is the backbone of civilization today and in the future. It serves so many purposes it is a miracle all by itself. Take the carbon out of the marble that built The Acropolis or the shell of a clam and you have calcium oxide, not quite the same.


OK, show us how it works, what energy is required in order to produce commercial quantities and how we fill up our cars with it...then count me in.


From the Cella Energy site:

\" The beads are stored in a fuel tank, which does not need to contain high pressures or be heated and cooled, therefore it can be a simple lightweight plastic tank of complex shape similar to that used in current vehicles. The hydride beads are then pumped to a hot cell where waste heat from the engine exhaust is used to drive the hydrogen into a small buffer volume. The hydrogen buffer is maintained at a pressure suitable for the internal combustion engine ICE or fuel cell and which is sufficient in volume to be able to restart the vehicle. Once the hydride has been heated and the hydrogen driven off, the waste beads are stored in another lightweight plastic tank.\"

Adrian Akau

Is this for real?? If so it will blow all other technology out of the water. I had to just check it wasn\'t April fool\'s day.

This could be the most important invention since the wheel. Unlimited and no pollution. The only thing I want to know is how much energy does it take to produce and where that energy comes from. If the energy it takes to make it is small and green then the oil companies will be very worried indeed. Let\'s hear more real detail about this. If it stacks up then it is a no brainer.


Do you really think that middle east oil monglomerates will just let it happen? if at worst hey wont be able to stop it, they will buy the technology and kill it whilst its still at entry level. I am sure they have got money for it. billions...

Facebook User

From their site: \"\"Although ideal for our proof-of-concept work and potentially useful for the initial demonstrator projects it is not currently a viable commercial material: it is expensive to make and cannot be easily re-hydrided or chemically recycled.\"

Ie, they have no product.


I would be truly amazed if this idea isn\'t either snapped up by the oil companies and \'filed\' away, or crushed so the idea never takes off - like so many great before it. Let\'s hope I\'m wrong..


I hope it delivers. Most of the research dies in the lab as problems crop up in real application.

Masud Isa

I like Gizmag, but this is an example of bad journalism - reporting about a breakthrough without understanding it.

The \"new fuel\" isn\'t burned at all. In fact, it\'s just a method of hydrogen storage. The hydrogen is encapsulated in another material and released when temperatures are around 80C. The hydrogen must then be burned or passed to a fuel cell before use.

That said, the 6% gravimetric energy density is impressive, especially with the low desorption temperatures.

Gizmag, please take the time to learn about what you\'re talking about instead of just regurgitating.


The price is to high, lets get prices down to 19c a gallon, but we do want will keep abreast on this and hope to be in business with it very soon........

Richie Suraci

The stuff (complex hydrides) is in insignificant quantites. This technology is only laboratorial.

ing. Nikolay L. Angelov

ing. Nikolay L. Angelov

Problem #1

You are still stuck using the ICE which is expensive to build, maintain and needs to be lubricated with something.

Problem #2

Somebody has to produce this fuel and I\'ll bet you can\'t do it in your own yard like you can the fuel for an EV using solar panels. Once again we would be hostage to the corporate giants.

Not for me thank you.

Gary Munkhoff

It will \"never\" be economically viable. It can \"never\" be produced in quantities sufficient to satisfy global demands. It will \"never\" be as \"easy\" as coal, oil, nuclear.

But let me guess, if the government \"gives\" you a \"whole\" bunch of money, you\'re \"certain\" you can \"work out\" all the kinks and then you\'ll be \"certain\" to get it down to that \"$1.50\" per gallon. Oh, and, somehow magically, it won\'t have an environmental detrimental affect \"somewhere\" in your \"system.\"

Fred Meyers

This is not an energy SOURCE. It is an energy STORAGE MEDIUM.

You still need an energy source to produce hydrogen (nuclear, fossil fuels). Then, and only then, you could potentially use this new technology to allow current automobiles to run on hydrogen without modification.

Ultimately, this could help solve the logistical/infrastructural aspect to the energy crisis, but, as I said previously, this technology is not a SOURCE of energy.


There is no government on earth that would let this see the light of day. It would be an unmitigated disaster if people could travel at will with little cost. All governments want us centralized, poor, and dependent on them.


This isn\'t new. Billings Energy was using metal hydride to store gasoline equivalent quantities of hydrogen for use in cars in the late 1970\'s. The basic science was done in the late 1800\'s and early 1900\'s. All these folks have done is to encapsulate it. Billings did it for three years under President Carters DOE programs. They ran a couple of city buses and about 20 commuter cars on hydrogen for a couple of years. Liquid Hydrogen didn\'t work very well. Cryogenics caused problems and was dangerous, and fuel energy density was too low. Like the cold fusion folks, the solution was to use metals that store large quantities of hydrogen between the metal bonds. That is what these folks are doing too.The real problem is getting the hydrogen. They haven\'t solved that problem. Neither did Billings. He used electrolysis units. Way too costly. This won\'t help with that problem either. It\'s still way too costly to get the hydrogen in an oxygen combustion supporting atmosphere. The lowest cost system I have seen uses an incomplete methane combustion to generate hydrogen, but it isn\'t cheap. It is used in the natural gas industry to \'sweeten\' methane from coal mines to increase the hydrogen content up to natural gas standard levels. That has been done for generations.Until a cheap way is found to get hydrogen gas, all of these systems will remain just dreams. BTW, Billings 1970\'s system was safe. As a demo, he had the National Guard fire a howitzer into a 20 gallon equivalent fuel tank at point blank range. The tank just smoldered, what was left of it. The demo film was impressive. As a control, the same thing was done to a 20 gallon gasoline tank. Very different result. Billings used sponge lithium, but several other metals from the same column of the periodic table will work just as well. Lithium was chosen because it is very light weight. Roger Billings worked as a consultant to the Auto industry in Michigan last i heard. His old patents have probably expired by now. The metal hydride gives off hydrogen gas when it is heated. Billings just routed the exhaust pipes through the fuel tank. a simple and elegant solution. A small storage tank got the engine started. With a compressor, the fuel tank was kept at negative pressure relative to the atmosphere, so the hydrogen didn\'t escape through the walls of the tank. Hydrogen will leak through most solid metals.I think someone in Europe did pretty much the same thing between the two world wars, but I no longer remember the particulars. In the end, same problem. Hydrogen gas is just too expensive.Encapsulation as this firm has done will just allow you to use the same tank you do now. in a hydride, the hydrogen gas is released when the hydride is heated. seal the entrance to the tank to exclude oxygen, and the hydride is recharged by simply filling the tank with hydrogen while the hydride is cool. Refueling takes about 10 minutes, if the hydrogen is under a little pressure. If we ever get an inexpensive source of hydrogen gas, any one of these could be retrofitted to existing cars for a thousand Dollars or so, end of fuel problem. We\'ve been working on that problem for the last 100 years. No economically workable solution yet.


This is not viable. The following was extracted from the Cella Energy website:

Although ideal for our proof-of-concept work and potentially useful for the initial demonstrator projects it is not currently a viable commercial material: it is expensive to make and cannot be easily re-hydrided or chemically recycled.

Cella is now working on other hydride materials, these have slightly lower hydrogen contents but it is possible to cycle them into the hydride phase many hundreds of times and we are encapsulating these in hydrogen permeable high-temperature polymers based on polyimide.

Facebook User

This will fade off the news with no consequence to fuel production or pricing just like every other energy breakthrough in the past 30 years. As long as oil & coal companies keep buying lobbyists and we don\'t run out of oil & coal, only two energy sources will be mainstream. Thought this would be obvious to everyone by now :\

Facebook User

So far, seems only YABob knows of what he speaks.............

Jeff Saeger

If my old memory is correct something similar was done in the 1970s-1980s and the oil companies ganged up and bought the inventor out so it never came about.


How about we focus on cleaner fuel for under a US dollar a gallon that can be made almost anywhere from almost anything? Read on:

Our company has a water-soluble, biodegradable mixed alcohol fuel called E4 Envirolene, with a 138 octane rating. It\'s patented, EPA-registered oxygenate fuel approved for blending and use in gasoline and diesel engines (without modifications) in all 50 states (USA). And unlike any other fuel it\'s produced from ANY carbon feedstock, like trash, biomass, coal, methane and CO2.

We\'re moving to be first to commercialize a true renewable fuel that is cleaner than hydrocarbon fuels and puts people back to work.

Read more here, and thanks for visiting!

Jay Toups

I'm a little confused here.

One of the problems with introducing hydrogen regardless of how it is manufactured or how good/bad it is compared with oil (Which will only continue to increase in price) is problems of storage. If this is a significant breakthrough as it would seem, it is just one aspect of the problem.

It is not a complete answer just a part.

So why are people being negative about the whole hydrogen energy system. This would be a major breakthrough if it can be produced at the right cost.


The question is . . . will they ever let it become available?

Cynthia Buffington

Where does the hydrogen come from and what kind of energy density do they promise ? Currently steam reforming of natural gas is the most common method of producing hydrogen by reacting with steam to initially form hydrogen and carbon monoxide, additional reaction forms more hydrogen and carbon dioxide so it does result in greenhouse gas emissions.

Michael Gene

Well even if it\'s a stop gap solution it would help. I don\'t see any infrastructure spending going on by the major fuel companies for a hydrogen conversion.

Anthony Acosta

Awesome! I can feel my fuel filter, fuel injector, valves, and exhaust resonator clogging with anticipation already!

John Sequeira


Been hearing stories about \"miracle fuel\" all my life. The Tooth Fairy & Santa Claus have more credibility.


Whatever happened to using Borax as the fixing medium (takes the place of these microbeads)?

From what I remember from early briefings, the borax was easy to re-hydrogenate and didn\'t appear at the time to have any major scientific obstacles to mass usage.

Adin Burroughs

I hope this one makes it to the public before being bought up and discontinued by big oil suppliers US and abroad!

Joel Bauman

Do you really think the oil co\'s / US government will allow this technology into the US?

It would be disruptive to their plans.

John Russell

Lets hope that they are able to bring it to pumps for wider consumption. Somehow I don\'t see this fuel being available at Shell or BP petrol stations. On the other hand it could be of great strategic advantage for small independent stations to start providing this fuel.

Milan Sedoglavich

the original article gave the false impression that this stuff could be used as a stright substitute for petrol/gasoline, without any modification to the vehicle. Whereas in fact, the hydrogen must be separated from the nano-spheres by heat and stored in a buffer, leaving a residue of partially exhausted hydrides which need to be re-cycled.

A far simpler solution to the problem of transport fuel is as follows:

start with hydrogen generated by electrolysis of water using renewable electricity. It ought to be possible to make this process 80% efficient so that a wind turbine with 1MW average output and 3MW peak output would produce about 3 moles or 6g per second. The electrolytic capacity would need to be able to cope with peak power and hence the total electrode area would need to be about 100 sq meters (assuming 3amps per square cm is achieveable from PEM\'s)

3 moles of hydrogen would be combined with 1 mole of CO2 yielding methanol with about 75% efficiency! Methanol is a liquid fuel that can be used in ICE\'s (is in fact the preferred fuel for racing cars as it is very high octane, 130, and is safer than petrol in crashes). The high octane rating of methanol would allow it to be used with high compression ratio engines producing higher efficiency than petrol .. about 40%.

There are just a few problems with methanol that would need addressing: the volumetric energy density is only half that of petrol so bigger fuel tanks would be needed. Some metals need to be avoided in the fuel train: magnesium, zinc and copper due to corrosion. In order to maintain good cold-start behaviour, methanol is best blended with 15% petrol (M85). Aside from these problems, existing cars and fuel distribution infrastructure could be used.

So, it is possible to produce liquid fuel for transport with about 60% efficiency from renewable electricty which solves the problem of how to utilise wind or other power effectively when it exceeds grid demand for electricity. Unfortunately, because electricty is relatively valuable the cost of the methanol produced in this way is fixed by the value of the elctricity and is currently uncompetitive with fossil fuels.

It is possible to make fuel produced in this way carbon-neutral if the CO2 used as feed-stock (rather than attempting to stuff it back in the ground as per the agenda of BP and Shell etc). Lackner et al. have devised a method of extracting CO2 from atmospheric air making a truly zero-carbon civilisation attainable.


Hello to all,

This will come to use only if Governments of the world don\'t pocket major share or buy huge stocks of this products to keep the price high other wise it is a same that we pay every thing and still the government is not happy it still require more in every thing. autoshah

Hello! Glad to see that there is a solution. We will not use more fossil energy. But when? When the all world will have renewable enegy at his hand. Then and only then reforming will not be used more to produce hydrogen, and even with a bad rate of conversion, it will be electrically produced. Other new from Gizmag tells it will be done in 30-40 years. Wait and see, it will be nice to have vehicles of very low impact based on actual engine\'s technology. What? In 30-40 years such engines would have disappeared! No matter the clean gasoline should be used with collection cars! Great, No?


A good beginning is dangerous for consumers, producers. I am sure that the oil oligarchs buy out the project and will be closed by the consumer. This company is a lethal competitor to oil tycoons.

Gennadiy Gayanskyy

they have no product! their website says so! they say what they use to encapsulate hydrogen (bead of plastic) is too expensive and no viable commercially and too hard to recycle, however there are good news! if they find a material that is recyclable and cheap to wrap around enough hydrogen molecules then their idea works!!!!!

it is no different than someone claiming \"flying cars are a possibility to solve our problems of not having enough roads...only if we could find a way to make flying cars!!! \"

Facebook User

Biogasoline, Biobutanol, Bioethanol, and Biodiesel all from Algae, Serial Hybrid, EV, Hydrogen. They\'re all awesome ideas. There\'s no one solution. Some people only drive 40 miles or less a day. They can drive EV. Some people do a little more than 40. EREV using a biofuel. Big trucks can use B100. Bioethanol can be used for a lot of things to replace propane and natural gas. Biobutanol or biogasoline for those who use their vehicles for travelling. Hydrogen for those who can afford it. To the Jan 26, 2011 comment. WATER is a bad idea. There are people who don\'t even have water to drink and it\'s okay for us to use it in our cars or to power our boats or generators? But lets remember there are a lot of options out there right now and there will not be one best option. It will depend on what you need.d

Jacob Vary

I hope these people are not assassinated by the tools of the oil moguls

Ed temple

How about... good entry effort? It was plain in the article there is more to do. As to don\'t use water... I don\'t think we are running out of sea water yet. Big oil buyout or government meddling? Cross your fingers. Nice idea. Hope something pans out.

James Farmer

Hydrogen, schmydrogen. Unless someone finds a cave with unlimited hydrogen flowing from it, then there is no zero carbon, hydrogen-based fuel source. Whatever method they use to make their hydrogen, generates greenhouse emissions (even nuclear...just less).


So this thread started in January, 2011, and we haven't seen any of this fuel yet. I think it will fall into the pit with all of the other "alternative fuel" scams. So far, the only thing that seems to be real is the electric car.


here it is almost 2 years later.. where does this idea stand? was it swept under the rug with all the other great ideas by the oil magnates?

its a shame... i have read about 150 mpg cars, $1.50 a gal gas, and other excellent things.

haven't seen a single one make it to fruition yet..

Frank Fain

The US government proudly and happily overthrows, executes, threatens, or otherwise discourages ANY other national entity or leader who even discusses the possibility of trading fossil fuels in anything other than US dollars.

An unsanctioned device which cost-effectively converts electricity to petrol (which is itself just a convenient way of carrying hydrogen around) will never exist in parallel with The United States. It's really not in their national interest, and it's much easier to stop something from being developed than to develop it yourself.

Only our ability to work with hydrogen is the real issue. We know that hydroden peroxide is one heck of a rocket fuel. It is too energetic to use in automobiles safely. Pure hydrogen is hard to store. Ultimately we seek some chemical miracle that would allow hydrogen to be combined with some yet undiscovered chemicals that allows the fuel to maintain the best qualities of hydrogen without the problems associated with hydrogen peroxide or pure hydrogen. The joy of solar production of hydrogen from water is that although the gear might be bulky it can operate indefinately and the gear might last for many decades. Think big mirrors! Jim Sadler

If Adolf Hitler's 'brainbank' of the 1940's developed synthetics, called Ersatz, for heaps of stuff due to the restrictions of obtaining raw materials, then why can't we do the same, given the decades of time we've had of developing technologies, the problems of politics, aka Middle East strangle hold on oil supply, are relative to our ability to think of alternatives. Petrol is a dated commodity unsuperceded only by our ability to think of an alternative, and overcome greed by the oil industry.


Have there been any breakthroughs in the making of synthetic fuel since 2011? If so, are we closer to solving any of the issues, particularly when it come to working w/ hydrogen? TY!

Sal Anthony
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