BGU researcher Moti Herskowitz 370.
(photo credit: Niv Elis)
Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev on Wednesday unveiled
research on how to create fuel using carbon dioxide and water.
technology is based on novel specially tailored catalysts and catalytic
processes,” said Moti Herskowitz, one of the researchers behind the new process.
“Well-established, commercially available technology can be directly applied to
the process developed at BGU. It is envisaged that the short-term implementation
of the process will combine synthetic gas produced from various renewable and
alternative sources with carbon dioxide and hydrogen.”
While it could
take five to 10 years to commercialize the patent-pending technology, the
researchers hope to see the demonstration plans within two years, Herskowitz
said at the Bloomberg Fuel Choices Summit in Tel Aviv.
“Why not use
zero-cost resources,” he said. “We could use carbon dioxide, water and energy
from the sun and combining them together get real fuels. We’re ready to take
We have the technology, the technology is proven, we’ve filed
patents for it.”
A recurring theme among conference participants was the
importance of opening existing infrastructure to competition from alternative
fuels, such as ethanol and methanol, and then letting the market decide. Many
new engines are already enabled with “flex fuel” technology, but old cars can be
cheaply retrofitted. Yet, some of the problem is political.
industry has drawn a line in the sand that says 10 percent [ethanol blended with
gasoline] – that’s your share,” Doug Berven, POET’s vice president of corporate
affairs, said on a panel moderated by Jerusalem Post Editor- in-Chief Steve
“You’re up against the most powerful political force on the
planet,” he said.
The regulations in place mean that the US has a ready
supply of cheap, efficient and cleaner ethanol that Israel could import, Berven
Daniel Recht, of South Korea’s OCI Sustainability Center, said
Israel’s natural-gas boom was not an indefinite fix for its energy
“Unfortunately, my advice to Israel is that natural gas is only
a temporary solution,” he said. Ultimately, the world would need to find a way
to transfer sustainable energies such as solar or wind to transportation, he
“Cars without tailpipe emissions may still have a lot of emissions
in their life cycle,” Recht said. “The way to fix that is to fix the grid.”