Do artificial fossil fuels have a future?

A new technology lets researchers create synthetic energy by stripping carbon dioxide from the air

President Obama gives a speech last year at the largest photovoltaic solar plant in the U.S.
(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The processes that create fossil fuels are complex, and take place over extremely long periods of time.

The oil and gas we use today began as plants and animals living millions of years ago. When the living things died, layers of sediment buried their bodies over millions of years, pushing large quantities of the organic material deeper into the Earth. At deeper depths, over thousands and thousands more years, greater levels of heat and pressure transformed the organic materials into fossil fuels.

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