Introduction

The aim of this project is to:

  1. Explore the feasibility of producing fuel from air on a residential scale.
  2. Explore the efficiency of production of fuel
  3. Explore the feasibility of producing residential-use amounts of fuel using solar resources.

Project Roadmap

  1. Create a Pressure Swing Adsorption dehydrator/concentrator : This takes atmospheric air, filters out particulates, compresses the air, removes water, and produces a high-concentration carbon dioxide stream.
  2. Pass the carbon dioxide over a catalytic bed which converts the carbon dioxide directly to an alcohol based fuel, or converts it to carbon monoxide (CO).
  3. (Optional) Pass the formed carbon monoxide (CO) over a catalytic bed with hydrogen gas to form hydrocarbon based fuel (petrol, diesel)

Latest Update

06/01/2014

A 19“ server rack was purchased for this project to house all of the equipment. Power distribution to the various devices in each stage is to be achieved with 2x 6-socket rackmount powerboards which have been fitted into the rack. I am planning to use Raspberry Pi's as controllers - while they are very overpowered for this project, they are very flexible in development and debugging. As a result, communications between the controllers and the host will be achieved via Ethernet. I had a spare 8-port Gigabit switch at home which has been re purposed for this project, and subsequently mounted into the rack. I have installed a lockable rack drawer to hold some of my tools. I have found out however, due to how useful the drawers are, that I may actually use them to house the controllers - they are lockable, easy to open without removal for debugging, and can be supported in the rack without rack rails, and at only $140 delivered each, they are pretty darn cheap.

Rack

Previous Updates

Bill of materials / Costing

  • Server rack ($400)
  • 2x Power distribution boards ($65.34)
  • 1x 8-port TP-Link Gigabit Switch ($73)
  • 100x pack of Rack Studs ($60.50)
  • 1x 19” 4RU rack drawer ($140)

Total project cost to date:

$738.84