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Israeli Company Uses Solar Energy to Convert CO2 to Biofuel

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Professor Jacob Karni, long considered Israel’s solar energy authority, has created his own company, NewCO2Fuels, to build a solar reactor. His goal: use energy collected from the sun in order to decrease coal-burning industry pollution.

Karni believes that Australian brown coal is a good source of energy. It is found on the surface of the earth, as compared to underground coal mines. The surface coal makes it very easy for mining companies to collect and process it.

Compared to other coal mines, brown coal mining is clean, but make no mistake, it still pollutes the environment and produces toxic materials such as sulfur oxide and ash and is carcinogenic. Brown coal burns less efficiently when wet, and this increases greenhouse gas emissions.

Burning coal produces CO2, the major contributor to climate change.

Karni’s goal is to make coal burning less harmful to the environment, and his technology can take the carbon dioxide created during coal burning to make it into fuel and oxygen. The oxygen then burns the coal more efficiently.

After the results from laboratory experiments, Karni believes he can reduce power plant carbon emissions by 50%. The agent of change is the sun. NewCO2Fuels is producing carbon monoxide and hydrogen fuel called Syngas by applying highly focused solar rays at high temperatures. While a great idea on paper, cost is the major obstacle to making Karni’s technology ubiquitous and competitive with the fossil fuel industry.

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