As more and more tech companies and research organizations turn their gaze to space exploration, a Brooklyn-based startup has discovered a way to explore the solar system without polluting Earth.
The Air Company brand first gained notoriety in November 2019 when it launched the world’s first carbon negative vodka made of air, water and solar energy.
When the pandemic happened, they quickly changed their production plant to create a hand sanitizer and are now applying their innovative carbon conversion technology to help the space industry go greener by converting CO2 into rocket fuel.
“We found that we can produce fuel very efficiently as a kind of accident,” said electrochemist and Air Company co-founder Stafford Sheehan. Fast company. “We were running our systems at higher temperatures than normal, under some conditions that we don’t usually do, and we found that we could produce these fuel molecules very efficiently.”
Until now, rocket engines have used liquid methane made from natural gas, an unsustainable and non-reusable fossil fuel product. However, organizations like SpaceX and Blue Origin have started looking for new propellants to be able to power their rocket engines for commercial spaceflight and exploration of Mars.
That’s where Air Company comes in. For each launch, if Air Company’s CO2-based rocket fuel formula were used for each launch, they would mitigate the emission of 715 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, the equivalent of a dozen flights between New York to Los Angeles in one airplane 747.
Carbon negative fuel could also be used to mitigate the ecological effects of other forms of transportation, although the group focuses primarily on rocket fuel.
Additionally, Air Company says its formula could be used to power flights back from Mars, since the planet’s atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide.
“The vision of humans living on Mars is getting closer to becoming a reality, and it is envisioned that CO2 can help us achieve this goal.” read the Air Company website.
“We have proven the viability of our cutting-edge technology and are driven to defy the impossible by driving innovation in every vertical industry we touch.”
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