Greenbox recycles exhaust into fuel … sort of
One good thing that has come out of this global warming craze is the wealth of ideas on how to recycle and create alternative forms of fuel. Recently, there was a story about how scientists are now able to microwave plastic grocery bags to recycle them back into oil. Well, now a gaggle Welch scientists have taken recycling one step further by developing a process which takes a car’s exhaust and recycles it for an alternative fuel sources. Sort of.
Actually, the process uses the exhaust, along with a modified algae to create a kind of bio fuel. Called the GREENBOX, the process can not only work for automobiles, but also buses, buildings, and even power plants. So far, however, they haven’t been able to test the product in aviation. But the results do look promising.
Testing a Greenbox the size of a barstool for over two years has created a capture rate between 85 and 95 percent. And the scientists are pretty confident that they can make the box about the size of a standard car exhaust which can hold the gases in a safe, inert state until conversion. After a full tank of gas, the Greenbox would need to be replaced and then taken to a bioreactor to be emptied.
The scientists actually came across the process accidentally as they were experimenting with carbon dioxide to help boost algae growth for fish farming. In addition to water vapor, the process also has methane gas and fertilizer as a waste product. Both of which can also be captured and used for other processes.
One thing is certain, this may be the happy medium between maintaining the current state of oil use and cleaning our environment until technology gives birth to a better way to get around.