Greenhouse gas emissions have been rising steadily since the dawn of the industrial age, with atmospheric carbon dioxide reaching just over 417 parts per million (ppm) in May 2020. Smog and ozone are caused when nitrogen oxides react with sunlight, and these and other types of pollution are caused by fossil fuels that can damage our lungs and as they cloud our skies. We believe that our advanced renewable fuels emit no particulates, no sulfur, and no nitrogen, and have the potential to help clear the air. They have a lower carbon footprint and don’t need aromatics such as benzene and toluene.
Our drop-in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) can be produced from a broad range of sustainable non-petroleum feedstocks, which can include GHG-neutral or GHG-negative corn, residual corn starches, wood waste, and agricultural waste products.
Our SAF meets ASTM Standard D7566 (Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons), allowing it to be blended with conventional jet fuels and used in commercial aviation. Like renewable gasoline, our drop-in SAF doesn’t require a new fuel distribution network or new engines. Our SAF can provide significant carbon savings when using more sustainably produced feedstocks and production processes. Under the European Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED) GHG calculation methodology, our SAF can achieve upwards of 80-percent GHG reduction over traditional petroleum jet fuel. Our SAF has already been used by major airlines around the world.
Energy Inputs: Clean In, Clean Out
Greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere are a huge climate problem, and we need to welcome all solutions to reduce emissions.
At Gevo, we believe that net-zero-carbon protein and energy-dense liquids are a great starting point, but we will need to use decarbonized versions of all other pathways. These other pathways include widespread adoption of electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells. The problem is, measuring only tailpipe emissions is not a true and accurate representation of the environmental impact. Electric vehicles don’t produce emissions directly—which is a terrific step forward—but they rely on electricity from the grid, which in the U.S. gets 60 percent of its power from fossil sources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The same goes for hydrogen. The electricity used to generate hydrogen needs to come from renewable sources in order to be clean and able to contribute to the GHG solution. At Net-Zero 1 we expect to produce hydrogen from water through electrolysis powered by wind energy, so that it will be clean hydrogen, storing the renewable energy generated from the windpower in a form that can be used readily.
Gevo’s fuels are built in the lab from the molecule up, rather than needing to be refined from crude products that come out of the ground. Those crude products include a multitude of chemicals, some of which are thought to cause cancer. Additionally, petroleum product refiners add still more chemicals to get the fuels to perform the way they want, including aromatics such as benzene and toluene that lead to pollution.
Gevo’s sustainable aviation fuel does not need to be refined, eliminating an energy-intensive step and further reducing its carbon intensity. All of our fuels have minimal particulate pollution. The expected reduced pollution will contribute to a healthier population that supports a robust economy. We’re constantly searching for additional ways to implement clean infrastructure solutions.
Renewable Fuels Can Reduce Carbon Emissions
Gevo’s renewable hydrocarbons can be drop-in fuels that meet the established specifications for their fossil-fuel analogs. Our renewable gasoline products can be used today and have immediate positive impact of reducing the carbon emissions of many forms of transportation.
SAF: While there are six different ASTM-certified pathways for creating renewable jet fuel, Gevo uses the Alcohol-to-Jet synthesized paraffinic kerosene, or ATJ-SPK method, to create the necessary 12-carbon chain from our isobutanol.
Renewable premium gasoline: Subject to certain regulatory approvals, our renewable premium gasoline could be a direct substitute for fossil-based premium gasoline for commercial use in the U.S. It can be blended at rates of up to 50 percent of fossil-based premium gasoline and we believe isooctane is a direct substitute for alkylate and reformate. We believe that our renewable premium gasoline is substantially similar to fossil-based premium gasoline.
Drop-In Fuels Lead the Way to Reduced GHG Emissions with Fleet Vehicles
For municipalities balancing tight budgets with the need to achieve their climate action plans and provide a healthy environment for residents, drop-in renewable fuels are a practical solution.
Gevo won a multi-year contract with the City of Seattle to supply our ASTM D4814-compliant blend of isobutanol and gasoline. Our products can help Seattle meet its GHG reduction targets in a fiscally responsible way, using the fleet vehicles it already owns, with no vehicle modifications and no new infrastructure investments.
We believe our fuels are zero-sulfur, zero-nitrogen, and zero-particulate, resulting in less smog. Less smog lowers the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory disease, supporting improved urban air quality, and public health.