Gevo to produce liquid hydrocarbons for fuel using biogas

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Gevo has announced it is launching Net-Zero Projects for the production of energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons using renewable energy and Gevo’s proprietary technology.

The concept of Gevo’s Net-Zero Projects is to convert renewable energy (photosynthetic, wind, renewable natural gas, biogas) from a range of sources into energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons that, when burned in traditional engines, have the potential to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the whole lifecycle of the liquid fuel – from the way carbon is captured from the atmosphere, processed to make liquid fuel products, and including the end-use (e.g. burning as a fuel for cars, planes, trucks, and ships).

Gevo said its project currently planned to be built at Lake Preston, South Dakota, will be the first Net-Zero Project, named ‘Net-Zero 1’. The firm expects the project to produce liquid hydrocarbons that when burned have a net-zero GHG footprint.

Net-Zero 1 is expected to have a capacity of 45 MGPY of hydrocarbons (for petrol and jet fuel, based on current take-or-pay contracts), to produce more than 350 million pounds per year of high protein feed products for use in the food chain, to produce enough RNG to be self-sufficient for the production process needs and to generate renewable power with a CHP system. Net-Zero 1 is also expected to use wind energy.

The capital cost for Net-Zero 1 is projected to be on the order of $700 million including the hydrocarbon production and related renewable energy infrastructure, which includes anaerobic digestion to produce the biogas to run the plant and generate some electricity on-site. Citigroup is helping Gevo to raise the necessary capital for the project.

Dr Patrick R Gruber, CEO of Gevo, said: “This is not a new project but rather the first of the projects that we have been working on the Citigroup to get financed.

“We are naming our future projects Net-Zero to make clear the mission we are on to reduce GHG emissions. By using carbon from the air as our raw material source with its inherent low-carbon-footprint, sustainable agriculture, a combination of renewable energy obtained from photosynthesis, wind, and biogas, we see that it is possible to transform renewable energy into liquid hydrocarbon fuels that work with combustion engines typical of cars, planes, and trucks, with the added benefit that these fuels have a net-zero carbon footprint across the whole lifecycle.

“Think about it: it is conceivable to eliminate tailpipe emissions from cars, planes, and trucks on a net GHG basis while leveraging existing cars, planes, and trucks on a full ‘cradle-to-cradle’ GHG basis.

“Our Net-Zero 1 Project isn’t just about capturing renewable energy and carbon, and transforming it into liquid renewable energy; it’s also about generating enormous quantities of protein, and nutrition for the food chain.

“The high protein feed would be low-carbon-footprint too – and we are happy to help farmers raise beef, pigs, chickens, and dairy in a way that lowers GHG emissions. We’ve got work to do to make it all happen. We believe that there will be demand for additional Net-Zero projects in the future.”