Carbon Sciences Claims Breakthrough in Recycling CO2 into Gasoline
26 January 2010
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
We may discover that we have wasted SO much with coal fired power plants for 100 years that it is ridiculous. I have thought that 100 years from now people will look back and say "they burned oil?" Much like we wonder why they killed whales for lamp oil.
Posted by: SJC | 26 January 2010 at 07:48 AM
The article says nothing about the source of the energy to reduce CO2, and the company's web site is little better. They talk about "renewable biomolecules". How much, what kind and the products are not mentioned.
This looks like vaporware to me.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 26 January 2010 at 08:09 AM
Yeah, it is vapor ware for now. The method is hype a miracle, get money and maybe we can work a miracle. That is why they have Due Diligence in investing.
Posted by: SJC | 26 January 2010 at 08:27 AM
well ive been following them since CNET ran an article on them creating c02 into chalk for plastics etc.. that was 3 yrs ago and they have improved more and more.. Not vapor or hype. they have working prototypes and interest from DOE as they are in the listing for potential grants of the Phase II along with ooil.ob ...
they have working models and presented as some pretty big universities in the US as well as UK... these guys will have a business model soon enough and are always open to show their prototypes so they are not hiding mehind closed doors..
my 2 cents after 3 yrs of watching them transform a 1950s practice that was hugely expensive to something cheap and more capable.. they wouldnt be speaking to congress and doe if they were fake pony shows....
Posted by: bill O | 26 January 2010 at 11:53 AM
Sounds too good to be true.
Loved SJC's whale oil point.
Posted by: danm | 26 January 2010 at 01:03 PM
Another scam of "We have talked to [reputable firms], and SWRI is working 'with' us, etc so we must have promise". BS !
0.0001% chance of a worthwhile improvement.
What is the source of energy? That's all that matters
Wait. I can do this.
I can sell you a system that harnesses energy from the lowering of weights?
' "How do the weights get raised?" you ask'
"Can't tell you right now, we are talking to investors"
Simple BS. It IS simply too good to be true.
Posted by: ToppaTom | 26 January 2010 at 04:39 PM
I hope these guys have something, but when you tell people that you are going to take smoke stack output and make gasoline, a bit of skepticism is to be expected.
Posted by: SJC | 26 January 2010 at 09:41 PM
I agree that, on the surface, it sounds to good to be true, but I recently bought some of this penny stock anyway. The potential is just too much to ignore.
There are other start ups in the race for this technology but all of the ones I can find use extreme heat for the process, thereby using energy to produce energy. The process Carbon Sciences seems to have perfected recently is a biological process eliminating an extreme heat requirement.
For me, taking a chance on the downside is worth the risk of what the upside could be. So I'm in.
Posted by: H Pelham | 13 February 2010 at 06:35 AM