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24 October 2012 | PR 12/180

Loughborough University Professor creates ‘petrol from air’

Petrol from Air

A Visiting Professor at Loughborough University has hit the media spotlight after his company produced the first ‘petrol from air’.

Using innovative new processes and largely well-known principles, Air Fuel Synthesis has produced several litres of petrol since August at a demonstration refinery which manufactures the fuel from carbon dioxide and water.

The technology, that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to create petrol which is cleaner than that produced from fossil oil, could help reduce global warming.  Within two years the firm is hoping to build a larger plant able to produce a tonne of petrol a day.  Using concentrated point-sources of CO2, rather than the more expensive air-capture process, will enable this plant to be commercially viable.

Tony Marmont, a Visiting Professor at the University’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), invested more than half a million pounds to set up the company, which is based in Stockton-On-Tees.  Dr John Barton from CREST is also involved in the business, along with several other investors.

Speaking about the breakthrough Professor Marmont said: “Since Air Fuel Synthesis demonstrated its achievements at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers conference in London earlier this month, we have received a huge amount of national and international interest.  This gives us considerable confidence in our very practical and commercially focused approach.”

CREST was established in 1993 with funding from Professor Marmont.  Part of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the primary activity of the centre is to undertake research and education in renewable energy technology to provide energy options for present and future generations.  Today, CREST is firmly established as one of the leading international groups working in the field of renewable energy.


For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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