MIT conducted a study, An Alternative to Gasoline: Synthetic Fuels from Nuclear Hydrogen and Captured CO2, to determine the extent to which nuclear power can contribute to a transition in the transportation sector.
The study concluded that the concept of alternative liquid fuels produced from nuclear hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide is viable. There is abundant CO2 for use and the hydrogen can be produced with proven technology.
Combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide captured from fossil fired plants to produce liquid fuel, either ethanol or methanol, is a way of producing fuels that could be used with little modification in the production of vehicles, requires few changes in the infrastructure for distributing fuels and is complementary to the production of ethanol from biosources.
A total cycle analysis revealed that the total reduction in CO2 emissions will be slightly more than 12% for either ethanol use or methanol use. A second benefit would be to decrease a nation’s dependence on imported petroleum.