Fossil-free fuels will at some point in the future be cheaper to buy than polluting kerosene-type propellants currently used by the aviation industry, Paddy Lowe, founder and CEO of Zero Petroleum, said.

Speaking at the Farnborough International Airshow, he said: “I’m very optimistic that in time, cost will become level with fossil fuels, or even better. We’ve seen wind power in this country, it used to be very, very expensive.

“It’s now cheaper to produce a new wind farm for the same energy than to build a gas-fired power station. Wind has become cheaper than fossil fuel in the electricity generation sector.

“So I am optimistic that synthetic fuels will eventually be a similar price – well, who knows what fossil fuel prices are gonna cost anyway? And the point with synthetic fuel is you can you can manufacture it in your own country, all under your control.

“You control the price, you control the supply, because the only ingredients you need are sun, wind, air and water. You don’t have to buy that from anyone.”

Making fuel from thin air

Commenting on the Zero Petroleum programme, he said: “The simplest way to explain it, if you think when you run an engine, a jet engine or car engine, what comes out the exhaust pipe primarily is carbon dioxide, and water. Those are the products of combustion of the hydrocarbon fuel.

“Those go into the atmosphere, and what we do is we gather them up again from the atmosphere, add in energy and reconstitute fuel.

“We’re simply creating a circular process, an industrial carbon cycle, and that’s how you make make fuel from thin air.”
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