Efficiently Producing Fuels from Waste CO2 and Off-peak Wind or Other Renewable Energy
 

Welcome to the Windfuels web site.

An innovative energy solution.
Completely changing the global energy and climate debates.


Use off-peak wind energy to recycle waste CO2 into transportation fuels.
This could cut CO2 emissions In half by mid-century.

Fuels from CO2 are the best solution for scalable and sustainable transport fuels, climate change, energy storage, grid stability, and economic growth.

There is sufficient potential off-peak wind energy and point-source CO2 in the U.S. to make twice as much liquid fuels as we currently consume, while also meeting our other energy needs.

A Tale of Two Crises: We will all too soon face an energy crisis that could potentially devastate the world’s economy as global oil demand exceeds supply. We are also facing the threat of global warming. The energy crisis could be postponed (at great cost) by relying on shale oil, tar sands, deep ocean oil wells, and coal-to-liquids, but that will dramatically worsen the environmental crisis. There are certain avenues that can be followed that could help reduce global warming but would destroy the global economy (for instance, to immediately ban the use of coal power plants).

We present a new direction for solving both crises simultaneously. Using off-peak wind or other renewable energy (off-peak: in the middle of the night, when the grid doesn’t need the energy, so it’s available at low cost), we can efficiently and competitively recycle the exhausted CO2 from coal and natural gas power plants into fuels that work with today’s transportation infrastructure. These competitive fuels will eventually provide enough supply to lower fuel prices and end the energy crisis, while eliminating the consumption of fossil oil, tar sands, shale oil, and coal-to-liquids. This will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving both the local and global economy. When these fuels made from CO2 (using wind energy) are burned, no new carbon will be released. These fuels made from CO2 are carbon-neutral.

Our Windfuels Method

We will use recycled CO2, water, wind energy, and some shale gas (as long as it is cheap) to make liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. No Magic. Just good physics, chemistry and engineering.
1. Wind Farms will generate the electricity required to produce hydrogen via electrolysis.


Using off-peak (night time) wind energy keeps costs down.

2. Electrolysis: electric current (from wind turbines) is passed through water (H2O) to break the bonds between hydrogen and oxygen.

This yeilds hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) gases.

3. Reverse Water Gas Shift (RWGS).
In a RWGS reaction, some Hydrogen (H2) is added to CO2 to reform CO2 into water (H2O) and carbon monoxide (CO).

CO2 + H2 -----> CO + H2O

4. Renewable FTS (RFTS). In RFTS, CO and H2 are chemically reformed into liquid hydrocarbon fuels including gasoline and jet fuel.

(In traditional fossil FTS, the CO and H2 are provided by coal. Unfortunately large amounts of CO2 are released in that process.)

We don't need coal. We just need CO from CO2 and H2 from water.

5. These fuels made from CO2 (gasoline, diesel, ethanol, and jet fuel) can be transported in trucks and distributed in our current gas stations and fuel stations.

No experienced chemist has doubted that it is possible to convert CO2 into standard fuels (like gasoline diesel, and ethanol), or that the theoretical limit to the efficiency of doing this is probably between 75% and 90%. The problem has been that prior proposals for doing this conversion have had efficiencies of only 25% to 35%. In other words, the chemical energy in the liquid fuels produced would be only 30% of the input energy required, and that input energy would be mostly electrical, which is expensive – except for six to 10 hours in the middle of the night.

The combination of the eight major technical advances we have made will now permit this conversion to be done at much lower cost at up to 60% efficiency. That’s high enough efficiency for carbon-neutral fuels made from waste CO2 to easily compete with petroleum, especially when the input energy is from off-peak wind. These processes have been simulated in great detail, and are absolutely sound. Hundreds of distinguished scientists and engineers have reviewed the materials on this website, and no significant technical problems have yet been identified.

Our breakthroughs permit production of carbon-neutral jet fuel, diesel, ethanol, gasoline, and many chemicals from waste CO2 and off-peak (low cost) grid energy that will be competitive in the open market.

An average acre of land in the Dakotas, Kansas, or Wyoming will produce 5 to 20 times as much fuel from wind, water, and CO2 as an average acre of land in fertile farming areas devoted to biofuels.

On several other pages (particularly, Economics and our ACS paper) we present a more competitive bridging technology known as CARMA that uses shale gas along with off-peak renewable energy to dramatically reduce capital costs and improve profitability for the first decade.

Serious about Sustainability. Successful civilizations have always planned carefully for the future – not just of their children or grandchildren, but for their great-great-grandchildren and beyond. Today, we are “fiddling..., and arranging chairs on the deck”, while an energy catastrophe looms that will dwarf the financial meltdown and Great Recession of 2007-2010 if we don’t begin taking it seriously. This impending catastrophe is not just for our children, or our grandchildren, but even for us.

Everyone has heard a lot about (global) peak oil, and the DOE has finally accepted that peak oil is coming decades sooner than they were saying just a few years ago. The best recent research we have seen on future oil prices (by the International Monetary Fund, 5/2012) projects real (inflation adjusted) average annual oil prices to increase at the mean rate of 7%/year going forward for at least the next decade and probably in subsequent decades. This would double the real price of oil every decade. Oil prices would be in uncharted territory by 2014. We suspect the price of oil will rise even more rapidly.

The data (downgraded from two years earlier) indicates there may be enough natural gas (NG) in the US if all probable and possible reserves can be utilized (and this includes all shale gas and coal-bed methane) to meet our current usage rate for about 60 years. Most shale gas will be expensive before long. Peak gas could come as soon as 2030. Well before we approach peak gas, its price too will go through the ceiling and force us to adjust our usage to meet the slowly declining production.

Almost no one has heard of peak coal or peak uranium – because the DOE continues to say we won’t run out for more than a century. However, the recent research by Prof. David Rutledge (Caltech) shows that global coal resources have been greatly overstated, and others have shown the same is true of economically recoverable uranium reserves.

It’s true, we have enough coal in the U.S. to last us 80 years at our current usage rate (1 Gt/yr). However, within a few years, China, India, Europe, and Japan will be importing twice as much coal as they were five years ago. By 2020, they will all happily pay 10 times what they were paying in 2002 to keep their lights on. (The exporters will charge that much because the impending peak gas and peak coal will be undeniable.) If the importers will pay that much, we won’t pay much less in the U.S. Global peak coal can be expected before 2030, and peak uranium will come before mid century. Data show we have already passed peak coal consumption in the U.S.and in Europe.

The price trends of the past two years for oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium make a compelling case for the price of energy headed up, even with slow economic growth.

We may take some comfort in knowing that because of peak oil, peak gas, and peak coal, total carbon emissions over the next five decades will be much less than even the low-emissions scenarios of the IPCC reports. But this is small comfort, as the latest data (see ClimateProgress.org) clearly shows rapid acceleration in lost of ice from Greenland over the past decade. We are on a path that will lead to a 1-foot rise in sea level by 2050, and about 4 feet by 2100. As cataclysmic as that sounds, the impact of oil at $300/bbl on the planet and its people will be even greater.

We saw in mid-2008 what can happen when oil demand comes within 2% of oil supply capacity. Imagine what would happen if oil, gas, and coal demand were all within 1% of supply capacity! The world would be in complete chaos.

This doomsday scenario is not necessary, but the current efforts toward sustainability are not nearly sufficient to avoid it. Changing the global energy infrastructure will take decades of major and much wiser commitments.

We’ve taken some hard looks at the serious limitations of the current efforts toward sustainable alternatives on this website, and we have explained why fuels from CO2 offer our best hope for a transition toward a sustainable, prosperous future. These fuels will be over 85% carbon neutral, and they are completely sustainable. When the last coal power plants are shut down in 2090, the needed CO2 will come from shale gas, biofuels refineries, cement factories, steel mills, and the atmosphere.

We hope you’ll begin by spending a few hours studying the research we’ve presented on this website. Then let your Senators and Representatives know that what is currently being done toward sustainability is not nearly enough to avoid a global energy catastrophe, but Doty Windfuels has a plan that will work.

 

The sooner we begin directing resources toward the development of these fuels made from CO2, the sooner we can rest assured that our transportation fuel, agriculture, civilization, and climate are secure for future generations.

F. David Doty

Site updated 4/21/2014


No year before 1973 was as hot as 1973. Every year after 1978 was hotter than 1978. Data from NASA-GISS. See Ken Caldeira, 2013.

It is likely that not everyone reading this page is a scientist or engineer. Or perhaps your experience with chemistry is a bit rusty. In either case, you may want to read the page "The WindFuels Primer - Basic Explanation for the Non-scientist" before moving on to the more technical pages.
 
To Access Publications and Patents ... CLICK HERE
 


We will use off-peak wind energy because it is the most cost effective renewable energy source in the United States.

How expensive must oil be for these fuels from CO2 to compete?

In most cases about $70/bbl, but in some cases only $45/bbl.

 

Zero net emissions!
Most competitive fuels!
Most climate benefit!
Energy storage solved!
Most scalable!
Zero waste!
No biomass!.
No grid connectivity issues!

 

It is not surprising that since we began showing publicly in mid-2008 a viable method for making standard fuels using CO2 many others have jumped in with “fuels from CO2”. Almost all of these late comers are either advocating something that won’t work at all, or at best won’t be able to make a difference in fuel supply or atmospheric CO2 of more than a small fraction of a percent.

Sadly, this includes almost all of the work we are aware of that has received investor and/or DOE support in the U.S. We briefly explain on several other pages on this website (particularly, FTS-Perspectives and FAQs) why some of those projects are fundamentally flawed.

 
Fact check: Storing very large amounts of energy in compressed air is orders of magnitude more expensive than in liquid fuels.
 

“They shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning hooks... Neither shall they learn war anymore...”
- Isaiah 2:4

“We will convert CO2, water, and air into fuels, chemicals, and fertilizers – and do it on a time scale that will save the planet.”
- David Doty
(obviously not a poet)

 
We can shift the geopolitical center for energy from the Middle East to North America.

We can go from importing oil to exporting carbon-neutral fuels and chemicals in 35 years.

 
Why is 60% system net efficiency something to get excited about?

The bottom line beats any other renewable fuel by a very wide margin.

 
We see no other way. To cut CO2 emissions in half by mid-century we must have carbon-neutral transportation fuels that are cheaper than heavy oil products.
 
Understandably, it has become fashionable for politicians to rail against high oil prices.

But what is a fair price for oil?

Is it fair to expect the oil exporting nations to sell off their resources at a rate that will lead to their total depletion almost everywhere (except in Canada and Venezuela) in 20-40 years?

Would you agree to the U.S. selling off all its topsoil to foreign countries over the next 30 years at any price?

 

Take a look at our analyses. We make a real attempt to stick with science and economics, and avoid hype.

 
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