EnergyCarbon-negative fuel at projected cost of less than $1.50 per gallon

Published 26 October 2012

Cool Planet Energy Systems the other day announced a major breakthrough in the commercialization and affordability of biofuels from non-food biomass that can run in any vehicle on the road today; a successful field testing was conducted at Google Campus

Cool Planet's negative-carbon fuel cycle // Source:

Cool Planet Energy Systems the other day announced a major breakthrough in the commercialization and affordability of biofuels from non-food biomass that can run in any vehicle on the road today.

Cool Planet says it is using a patented mechanical process and unique scaling approach, and that it is the only company projected to produce high octane gasoline at the cost of $1.50 per gallon, without the need for government subsidies. What is more, this high octane gasoline actually removes carbon from the atmosphere during the course of production.

The company says its biofuel has already been successfully tested internally at the company’s headquarters in Camarillo, California and through a field trial by Google, Inc. at their Mountain View, California headquarters, with an OnDemand campus vehicle, known as GRide, which has operated flawlessly using this fuel for more than 2,400 miles. By running on a 5 percent Cool Planet carbon negative fuel blended with 95 percent regular gasoline, the test car blend met California’s 2020 Low Carbon Fuel Standard — eight years ahead of schedule. The control car used 100 percent regular gasoline. The test car successfully passed 5 smog checks with no significant difference between cars. The total mileage of the test car was virtually the same as the control car, driving a total of 2,490 stop and go miles in the test car compared with 2,514 miles in the control car. Additionally, both the test car and the control car were virtually identical in emissions testing. Other field tests planned include a partnership with Ventura County, and another current investor fleet test to be run in California.

“Innovations in alternative fuels will be key in addressing growing climate change concerns,” said Brendon Harrington, Transportation Operations Manager at Google, Inc. “We are thrilled to be a part of Cool Planet’s field testing and believe that this product has the potential to make a significant impact on our future energy needs.”

Cool Planet’s proprietary 2-step thermal processing technology takes non-food biomass such as wood chips, agricultural waste like corn stover, or energy crops including giant miscanthus, and switch grass and converts it into useful hydrocarbons. A catalytic conversion is then utilized to complete the production. The end result is high-octane gasoline that is fully compatible with today’s standard automobiles and existing conventional fuel distribution systems.

“Unlike many other biofuel companies, Cool Planet’s carbon negative gasoline is price competitive because of the ingenuity behind our innovation. By mass producing mobile, pre-fabricated micro-refineries that are easily transportable to the biomass source, we significantly reduce costs of feedstock transportation, which maximizes our overall capital efficiency,” said Howard Janzen, president and CEO at Cool Planet Energy Systems. “Each micro-refinery is one hundred times smaller than a typical oil refinery and can produce 10 million gallons of fuel per year; this puts us in the running to compete with oil at $50 a barrel without any government mandates or subsidies.”

A byproduct of producing biofuel is the activated carbon, or biochar, which can be used as a soil enhancer increasing land fertility while isolating the carbon captured from the atmosphere. This comprehensive carbon negative process results in up to a 150 percent carbon footprint reduction (this is Cool Planet GREET calculation; GREET is Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation Model developed by Argonne National Laboratory), far more than any other biomass-to-fuel method.

The company says that its technology has attracted investors including General Electric, Google Ventures, BP, ConocoPhillips, NRG, and the Constellation Energy division of Exelon.