The technology which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, produced five litres of petrol in less than three months from a small refinery in Stockton-on-Tees, Teeside.

Although the process is still needs to use electricity from the national grid to work, the company believes it will eventually be possible to use power from renewable sources such as wind farms or tidal barrages reports The Independent.

The £1.1m project has been in development over the past two years, and is funded by a group of unnamed philanthropists who believe the technology could be the future of renewable energy.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) said while the described the technology as “too good to be true but it is true”, it could prove to be a “game-changer” in the battle against climate change.

Stephen Tetlow, the IMechE chief executive, hailed the breakthrough as “truly groundbreaking”.

“It has the potential to become a great British success story, which opens up a crucial opportunity to reduce carbon emissions,” he said.

Image via Thinkstock