From Wales, a Box to Make Biofuel from Car Fumes

July 19, 2007 - By Michael Szabo, Reuters

	<  A Yank of that name seriously garbled & misrepresented 
maps of mine in an NZ magazine article on effects of a meltdown in a 
marine reactor in Auckland or Wellington harbour.  He also attributed 
to me utterances I'd not made.   I suspected he was a disinfo 
merchant.  This 'biofuel from fumes' item tends to increase that 
suspicion.  He has been a Greepneace employee in NZ.   

QUEENSFERRY, Wales -- The world's richest corporations and finest 
minds spend billions trying to solve the problem of carbon emissions, 
but three fishing buddies in North Wales believe they have cracked it.

They have developed a box which they say can be fixed underneath a 
car in place of the exhaust to trap the greenhouse gases blamed for 
global warming -- including carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide -- and 
emit mostly water vapour.

The captured gases can be processed to create a biofuel using 
genetically modified algae.

Dubbed "Greenbox", the technology developed by organic chemist Derek 
Palmer and engineers Ian Houston and John Jones could, they say, be 
used for cars, buses, lorries and eventually buildings and heavy 
industry, including power plants.

"We've managed to develop a way to successfully capture a majority of 
the emissions from the dirtiest motor we could find," Palmer, who has 
consulted for organisations including the World Health Organisation 
and GlaxoSmithKline, told Reuters.

The three, who stumbled across the idea while experimenting with 
carbon dioxide to help boost algae growth for fish farming, have set 
up a company called Maes Anturio Limited, which translates from Welsh 
as Field Adventure.

With the backing of their local member of parliament they are now 
seeking extra risk capital either from government or industry: the 
only emissions they are not sure their box can handle are those from 


Although the box the men currently use for demonstration is about the 
size of a bar stool, they say they can build one small enough to 
replace a car exhaust that will last for a full tank of petrol.

The crucial aspect of the technology is that the carbon dioxide is 
captured and held in a secure state, said Houston.  Other carbon 
capture technologies are much more cumbersome or energy-intensive, 
for example using miles of pipeline to transport the gas.

"The carbon dioxide, held in its safe, inert state, can be handled, 
transported and released into a controlled environment with ease and 
a minimal amount of energy required," Houston said at a demonstration 
using a diesel-powered generator at a certified UK Ministry of 
Transportation emissions test centre.

More than 130 tests carried out over two years at several testing 
centres have, the three say, yielded a capture rate between 85 and 95 
percent.  They showed the box to David Hansen, a Labour MP for Delyn, 
North Wales, who is now helping them.

"Based on the information, there is a clear reduction in emissions," 
Hansen told Reuters.

"As a result, I'm facilitating meetings with the appropriate UK 
government agencies, as we want to ensure that British ownership and 
manufacturing is maintained."

The men are also in contact with car-makers Toyota Motor Corp of 
Japan and General Motors Corp. of the United States. Houston said 
they have also received substantial offers from two unnamed Asian 

Both Toyota and General Motors declined to comment.


If the system takes off, drivers with a Greenbox would replace it 
when they fill up their cars and it would go to a bioreactor to be 

Through a chemical reaction, the captured gases from the box would be 
fed to algae, which would then be crushed to produce a bio-oil.  This 
extract can be converted to produce a biodiesel almost identical to 
normal diesel.

This biodiesel can be fed back into a diesel engine, the emptied 
Greenbox can be affixed to the car and the cycle can begin again.

The process also yields methane gas and fertilizer, both of which can 
be captured separately.  The algae required to capture all of 
Britain's auto emissions would take up around 1,000 acres (400 

The three estimate that 10 facilities could be built across the UK to 
handle the carbon dioxide from the nearly 30 million cars on British 

The inventors say they have spent nearly 170,000 pounds ($348,500) 
over two years developing the "three distinct technologies" involved 
and are hoping to secure more funding for health and safety testing.

Not surprisingly, the trio won't show anyone -- not even their wives 
-- what's inside the box.

After every demonstration they hide its individual components in 
various locations across North Wales and the technology is divided 
into three parts, with each inventor being custodian of one section.

"Our three minds hold the three keys and we can only unlock it 
together," said Houston.

Source: Reuters

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