Jacob Karni’s Solar Tech Turns Brown Coal Into Clean Fuel

greenearth energy israel, brown coal, Israel, Jacob KarniGreenearth energy looks to Israeli solar tech to make use of Oz’s vast brown coal resources.

With the climate change tipping point precipitously close, an Israeli-Australian venture will use solar technology to mitigate the greenhouse gases from coal in Australia. Developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel the new venture will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of brown coal. The venture has been recently launched in Israel by NewCO2Fuels, a subsidiary of the Australian company Greenearth Energy Ltd. Greenearth has has acquired an exclusive worldwide license for the new solar technology developed by Prof. Jacob Karni from the Weizmann. Karni is considered one of the world’s foremost innovators of solar tech. He was involved in the technology behind Aora, a distributed solar thermal company with plants in Israel and Spain.

Karni’s technology makes use of concentrated solar energy to dissociate carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide and oxygen. This method also makes it possible to dissociate water to hydrogen and oxygen at the same time it dismantles the CO2.

Jacob Karni
jacob karni solar energy

Carbon monoxide and its mixture with hydrogen called Syngas, can then be used as gaseous fuel, for example, in power plants, or converted to liquid fuel such as methanol, which can be stored, transported or used to power motor vehicles.

The method has proved successful in laboratory trials. NewCO2Fuels Ltd. is now building a solar reactor for the conversion of CO2 on an industrial scale. Part of the development is being performed in collaboration with the Canadian Institute for the Energies and Applied Research at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Greenearth Energy expects the new Israeli-Australian venture to help harness the vast brown coal, also called lignite, resources in the State of Victoria in south-eastern Australia, whose use has been limited until now by the high CO2 emission content from this type of coal. The possibility of converting CO2 to fuel in a clean and efficient manner will turn brown coal into a source of environmentally friendly fuel.

Greenearth is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with the stock code of GER.

::Greenearth Energy

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2 thoughts on “Jacob Karni’s Solar Tech Turns Brown Coal Into Clean Fuel”

  1. Han Raas says:

    The idea to split CO2 along with water to synthesis gas (a mixture of (carbon moxoide (CO) and (hydrogen) H2) using desert or half-desert sited concentrated solar power plant is perhaps the best ideas ever in the field of ideas for sustainable energy. The Weizmann institute apparently is working on developing a technology to realise this idea. Think of the posibilities that arises when using solar energy to provide basic chemicals like CO and Synthesis gas. I will mention only a few:
    1.)Conversion of coal and lignite mining regions into substitute natural gas (SNG) producing regions. Efficiency of SNG production as related to coal thermal input will be 170-190 [%], the latter figure holding for lower ranked lignite. Compare this to a mere 50 [%] for conventional non-solar energy supported SNG production.
    2.)With the production of CO from CO2 from solar energy, quite a good deal of petrochemistry is at you feet. So you can produce valuable petrochemical products from CO2.
    3.)The production of CO from CO2 also allows you to produce steel from iron ore and limestone flux without the need for coke or coal to provide the reducing agent. A process can be conceived that can even produce a lot of by-product SNG in this kind of steel making.
    4.) The ashes of many waste incinerators contain appreciable concentrations of heavy metals. For that reason these ashes are hazardous and must be safely stored. In pure state however these heavy metals are mostly of high value. Sadly, it is too expensive to recover these metals, mainly because of large consumptions of common chemicals needed to recover them. Thing could change when using solar CO production as the chemical engine to recover the waste chemicals produced in the heavy metal production units.

    All in all, the scope of solar CO2 splitting is much wider than energy industy alone. It could include the lot of basic chemical industry as well.

    Han Raas
    Enssim Software

  2. Karl Thidemann says:

    This approach, however noble in concept, is fundamentally flawed because it results in more CO2 being released to the atmosphere (when the synfuel is burned). Agreed, it does release LESS CO2, but with [CO2] now over 400ppm, this is unacceptable. No coal = good coal.

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