Scientists turn sunlight into jet fuel
Image: johnny-ka/Shutterstock

European scientists simulated concentrated sunlight at a temperature of 700 degrees Celsius to convert water and carbon dioxide into a gas known as syngas, which is made out of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

Syngas is then turned into liquid kerosene, which is used to power buses and other forms of transport.

Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, European commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said to Chemistry World: “This technology means we might one day produce cleaner and plentiful fuel for planes, cars and other forms of transport. This could greatly increase energy security and turn one of the main greenhouse gases responsible for global warming into a useful resource."

Although the technology is still in its infancy (the researchers only produced enough kerosene to fill a small glass jar), scientists estimate that a full-scale solar reactor could produce 20,000 litres of jet fuel per day.