Can America really develop an affordable replacement for oil, or is the effort akin to dope fiend chasing the dragon? Well Cool Planet Energy Systems projects that its patented method for producing carbon-negative, high-octane biogasoline could be sold for as low as $1.50 a gallon…without government subsidies.
Cool Planet’s fuel processing uses the input of raw, inedible biomass that produces both fuel streams and a byproduct called “bio-char.” The bio-char can then either replace coal, or be used as a “soil conditioner,” basically improving the composition of fields used to grow feedstocks. Using this method results in a 150% reduction of the carbon footprint for the fuel processing.
Emissions wise, a 5% blend of Cool Planet’s biogasoline met all emissions requirements in a test car, including those for California’s 2020 Low Carbon Fuel standard….8 years early. Most importantly though is the price.
Cool Planet’s processing system uses targeted micro-refineries that can be transported directly to the location of the feedstock. This cuts down on shipping costs, though each micro-refinery can still produce upwards of 10 million gallons of fuel.
Even without government subsidies, Cool Planet says they can produce this much fuel at a cost of about $50 a barrel, or a $1.50 a gallon. That’s less than half the cost of a gallon of gasoline. Can private enterprise really create a cost-competitive fuel without government aid?
Cool Planet’s biogas and bio-char certainly look promising…but there’s no word on when this biogas will be heading to retail markets. It could be a long time before America gives biofuels another chance after all the drama surrounding ethanol.
Source: Green Car Congress