Two of the biggest global issues are shortage of clean energy and clean water. Despite of the present economic downturn, fossil fuels are not the answer to the ever growing energy need. While some new technologies offer possibilities for providing electrical energy there are few technologies that address the need for truly sustainable transportation fuels. The second issue has an even greater impact but is not yet addressed as such. The lack of clean water is impairing complete nations from Latin America, through Sub-Saharan Africa to South-East Asia. Approximately 1,1 billion people have no access to clean water. There is some initial research being done on how to clean and distribute the water and less on how to produce it.
At Antecy we are working on technology that will solve both problems in the same process. We have developed the technology that can provide both water and energy. Once fully developed this technology has a tremendous potential. It can in fact be applied to make communities completely self-reliant.
Our answer to the energy problem is solar-fuels. These are fuels, liquids, like gasoline, or ethanol, but produced out of solar energy and air. The chemistry behind the process is that water (H2O) and carbon di-oxide (CO2) are collected from air and converted to methanol by use of solar energy. This process does not only offer a solution for energy storage but also produces a transportation fuel that can fuel a car. The ratio between the two is variable and depends on many factors such as energy use, solar radiation, and such.
In the very first step where CO2 is concentrated, also humidity (water in the air) gets concentrated and is recovered. Some of the water is used to produce methanol but water is also a very important by-product. Producing water out of “thin air” is a great step forward in solving the water-crisis.