Today’s renewables are not discovered. The technology is constantly evolving, and the process takes what we’ve learned and build on it. The renewables of today are built from the processes, experiences, and challenges of the biofuels from years past. And like biofuels, the next-generation renewables are created in a lab from the building blocks in nature, and then scaled up to meet production demand.
Just a few short years ago there was no renewable alternative for aviation fuel, yet now there are no fewer than five pathways to achieve a renewable alternative to petroleum-based jet fuel. Each one is achieving the standard in different ways at this writing, but it would not be surprising to learn of additional pathways being added to the list in the near future.
This is the nature of the science behind biofuels: The limitations are only in our minds. As the technology evolves and the threats from climate change grow more urgent, the resources of our society will become more invested in biofuel development.
Gevo has taken a multi-prong approach to deliver renewable energy in ways that will allow it to be easily adapted. Every gallon of energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons we expect to make has been designed from the ground up to maximize its impact on greenhouse gas emissions. That’s because the fuels use the carbon that is already in the atmosphere to create the molecules that store the energy. This is contrast with fossil fuels, which remove carbon from the ground and, when burned, emit it into the atmosphere.
The fuels basically work as a storage device for renewable energy sources, including solar energy through photosynthesis, wind power through turbines, and biogas and renewable natural gas, used efficiently through cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP). The result: Our plants are expected to produce net-zero greenhouse gas emissions over the whole lifecycle of every gallon.
Our fuels allow people to use renewable energy in ways they already do: fueling up their cars, or flying across the country or around the world on a commercial jet filled with our fuel. we has undertaken is designed to be prepared for the unpredictable nature of the market. By developing new types of biofuels, the company is preparing to scale up production to serve virtually any market that needs to stop relying on fossil fuels.