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Breakthrough promises $1.50 per gallon synthetic gasoline with no carbon emissions

By Mike Hanlon

January 26, 2011

Cella Energy CEO Stephen Voller exhibits his breakthrough technology – right shows the fuel’s hydrogen microbeads under a microscope
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UK-based Cella Energy has developed a synthetic fuel that could lead to US$1.50 per gallon gasoline. Apart from promising a future transportation fuel with a stable price regardless of oil prices, the fuel is hydrogen based and produces no carbon emissions when burned. The technology is based on complex hydrides, and has been developed over a four year top secret program at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Early indications are that the fuel can be used in existing internal combustion engined vehicles without engine modification.

According to Stephen Voller CEO at Cella Energy, the technology was developed using advanced materials science, taking high energy materials and encapsulating them using a nanostructuring technique called coaxial electrospraying.

“We have developed new micro-beads that can be used in an existing gasoline or petrol vehicle to replace oil-based fuels,” said Voller. “Early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification.”

“The materials are hydrogen-based, and so when used produce no carbon emissions at the point of use, in a similar way to electric vehicles”, said Voller.

The technology has been developed over a four-year top secret programme at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, UK.

The development team is led by Professor Stephen Bennington in collaboration with scientists from University College London and Oxford University.

Professor Bennington, Chief Scientific Officer at Cella Energy said, “our technology is based on materials called complex hydrides that contain hydrogen. When encapsulated using our unique patented
process, they are safer to handle than regular gasoline.”

Synthetic Negative-Carbon Gasoline Replacement is from California

January 20, 2012 By Charis Michelsen

This last year has seen a lot of attention for biofuels (both positive and negative). One company that managed to miss most of the attention was the startup Cool Planet Biofuels, but given its most recent announcement, it may start getting their time in the spotlight. Cool Planet Biofuels announced that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved tests of its new product, gasoline that it claims is “negative carbon.”
Synthetic Gas Is What, Exactly?

Before explaining exactly what it means by the phrase “negative carbon,” let me explain how Cool Planet produces its fuel. It don’t use ethanol or other traditional types of biofuel (if “traditional” is a word that can really be applied to this field!). Instead, Cool Planet manufactures synthetic gasoline that it claims is identical in every way to gasoline refined out of stuff piped out from underground.

The synthetic gas is produced using proprietary technology called a “biomass fractionator,” and, at the moment, the supply is very limited. It’s made from low-grade, non-food, cellulosic feedstock; cutting out the food vs. fuel debate entirely. The second question facing Cool Planet (after whether or not its fuel will pass the road tests) is whether or not it can increase production to meet demand.
Negative Carbon Footprint

The reason Cool Planet has dubbed its product “negative carbon” is its waste product; during the process, a solid carbon form that can be converted into fertilizer is formed and discarded. According to Cool Planet, the fertilizer can hold onto carbon dioxide, and as plants grow in the fertilizer and consume CO2 from the air, the car’s emissions are neutralized (in theory, anyway – you’d need a lot of plants).

Going back to the question of whether or not the synthetic gasoline will pass its road test, Cool Planet has several stages of testing planned. The first is a blend of the synthetic fuel plus standard California E-10 straight out of the pump. Depending on how that goes, Cool Planet’s fuel may be tested alone.

Whether Cool Planet’s fuel is ever used to replace gasoline depends on how far it gets in testing, and whether or not it can ramp up production. If either of those fail, crude oil from the ground won’t be replaced with its synthetic alternative. It is, however, a neat idea and a really big step for a startup. I’d like to see the company succeed. How about you? Let us know in the comments, below.

Source: Green Tech Media | Image: Wikimedia Commons

Clean Technica (http://s.tt/15jSR)

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