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Turning CO2 into Gasoline?

Posted By G Living Staff Monkies On March 3, 2008 @ 10:29 am In Green Report / Media | No Comments

If I wasn’t already certain there was a conspiracy by Big Oil to continue their unsustainable ways, I’d be a believer after reading about the good people at Los Alamos National Laboratory (think nuclear weapons)’s plan to capture CO2 from your tailpipe and turn it back into gasoline>.

Oh, and it gets better… The process required to sequester the CO2 and “refine” it requires huge energy inputs – similar to the amount needed to create clean-burning alternatives like hydrogen. Where do they suggest we get that energy? From nuclear reactors. That’s right, good ol’ nuclear powered gasoline factories are the way of the future. They did consider alternatives, but dismissed them early on as “too unrealistic.” I guess I’ll have to add the word noo-cyoo-ler to my vocabulary.

This idea smacks of conspiracy, right down to its Bush-esque title, Green Freedom. Two things wrong with their title: there’s nothing green about it, and freedom has nothing to do with it.

The first: burning gas is not green because it is unsustainable. Oil will run out. Nuclear waste is NOT green. And the Los Alamos boys don’t even have a prototype of the machine that will magically turn CO2 into gas. Even if they make it, the process will not sequester the same amount of CO2 that is emitted. At best it will forestall the end of oil by some number of years.

The second problem with the title is that as long as we’re beholden to the oil companies for our energy needs, no one is free. Freedom lies in sustainability, creating habits that balance energy inputs with energy outputs, and producing what we need where we need it. We must break out of the paradigm that energy (and nearly everything else we consume) comes from a faraway place, created by the man behind the curtain. And the sooner the better.

(via the New York Times)

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