Scientists say they have created a new system that can create fuel out of sunlight and air.
The new system is notable because it can work under field conditions, rather than in the specialised and specific conditions of a laboratory.
Eventually, it could be used to create carbon-neutral fuels for things like aviation and shipping – but significant amounts of development and upscaling would be required first, the engineers behind the discovery note.
The system is part of a broader attempt to built new processes that could help reduce the 8 per cent of humanity’s carbon dioxide emissions that come from flying and shipping. One option is to make new drop-in fuels that would work like the current kerosene or diesel but are created synthetically, out of water and carbon dioxide and powered by solar energy.
Scientists have had some success in making the individual parts of such a system. But it has proven much harder to create the full thing, in a way that would be useable in real-world conditions.