9 Jan


“Oil is generated deep in the core of the Earth, it’s like a gigantic oven, and through the enormous temperature and pressure it’s forced up through the granite mantle through fissures and cracks into various reservoirs. It’s basically calcium carbonate and iron. No dead dinosaurs involved.”

This is a really interesting piece because although you can get oil from dead plants and marine organisms, you can also get it a-biotically. NASA’s Cassini probe has discovered what is most probably hydrocarbons on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons and which amounts to more than all the oil on Earth. Since there has never been biogenic life on Titan it must be a-biotic. A-biotic “oil” has also been created in the lab as well, so we know it’s certainly possible.

The next step is to create hydrocarbon fuel from carbon in the atmosphere, using the power of the sun to knock out oxygen atoms of the donor carbon material, water (H2O) is converted into hydrogen (H2), and carbon dioxide (CO2) turns into carbon monoxide (CO), which can be used to produce fuel: specifically, gaseous or fluid hydrocarbons such as methane, petrol and diesel.