It sounds almost too good to be true, but a new company, Carbon Recycling International, makes clean fuel out of pollution.
The company captures carbon from industrial emissions and converts it to synthetic methanol, petroleum and diesel.
The conversion process has traditionally been prohibitively expensive and polluting, but using Iceland’s endless supply of cheap, renewable energy has proven a successful formula.
Carbon Recycling International was founded in 2006 as a joint Icelandic-American enterprise, supported by academic institutions and energy companies, among others.
It is no coincidence that the business was founded in 2006: the company makes a profit when its fuel can be sold for over USD 50 per barrel and oil prices passed USD 50 in early 2005. The current price of oil is more than double that amount.
At a time when the world is becoming increasingly worried about oil prices and climate change, and when Iceland is making an ever bigger splash in the renewable energy sector, Carbon Recycling International’s future looks increasingly bright.
US ambassador to Iceland, Carol Van Voorst, recently toured the company’s prototype fuel conversion plant, which is already producing limited amounts of fuel that can be used in existing automobiles.