Carbon Sciences, Inc., the developer of a biocatalytic process to transform CO2 into low-carbon hydrocarbons (C1 to C3) for subsequent upgrading into higher-carbon fuels such as gasoline and jet fuel (earlier post), said it has developed certain process technologies that will allow for the direct production of gasoline, shorten the time to commercialization and reduce the system and operating costs of its CO2-to-Fuel technology.
The company’s current approach is an enzyme-based process used to transform CO2 into lower carbon fuels, such as methanol. Dr. Naveed Aslam, chief technology officer of Carbon Sciences, has discovered a new and more cost efficient process to produce gasoline, a higher-carbon fuel, from CO2. The key features of this breakthrough include:
The of use flue emissions directly from coal-fired power plants or industrial factories, eliminating the need for “clean” CO2;
The use of brackish water, eliminating the need for distilled freshwater as the source of hydrogen and reaction medium;
Mild operating conditions, eliminating the need for capital intensive stainless steel equipment; and
A highly scalable system to transform large quantities of CO2 into gasoline for use in the existing transportation infrastructure.
We always wanted to produce high-level fuels, such as gasoline, but knew that additional steps would be required to reach this goal. Now, we have the way to go directly to gasoline.
The United Nations’ IPCC estimates that the cost of simply capturing CO2 for applications, such as underground sequestration or transformation into products, can range from $45 to $73 per ton of CO2. This cost is perhaps the single biggest economic barrier to any large-scale CO2 applications, such as carbon sequestration. However, by being able to use a raw CO2 flue gas stream in our CO2-to-Fuel technology, we are no longer dependent on the success or commercial availability of carbon capture systems. In addition, unlike biofuels based on growing plants to absorb CO2 from the air, our CO2-to-Fuel process is an industrial process that can produce fuel in minutes to hours, not months to years, to meet the demands of the world.
—Byron Elton, CEO of Carbon Sciences
We are very excited about these new processes. Our end-to-end CO2 to fuel system will have several modules. We have determined that one of these modules can function as a standalone system for use by a sizable part of the energy industry for the production of gasoline. Inquiries from potential strategic partners have further validated our decision to focus on this module. We are anticipating a shorter than normal development cycle for this module and are hoping to achieve commercialization in less than one year.
—Dr. Naveed Aslam