Carbon Sciences, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to make gasoline and other transportation fuels from natural gas and carbon dioxide (CO2), has announced that it supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) decision to direct more of its research and development funding to alternative fuel technologies.
The DOE released its inaugural Quadrennial Technology Review report on Sept. 27, 2011, in which it outlined an energy strategy and prioritized research and development initiatives. According to the report, the DOE intends to focus a larger portion of its funding on alternative fuel technologies. According to the DOE, the primary motivation for this shift is to improve U.S. competitiveness in global markets, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, increase the reliability of energy infrastructure and reduce risks from climate change.
“We commend the Department of Energy for recognizing the importance of the fuel security issue,” said Byron Elton, CEO of Carbon Sciences. “Specifically, the department’s focus on alternative fuel technologies shows a real commitment to freeing the United States from its unsustainable and dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Carbon Sciences has been working toward this goal for some time, and has developed a technology that will address the issues that the DOE is seeking to resolve. Our company, as well as the alternative fuel technology industry, will benefit from the department’s shift in focus.”
Carbon Sciences has developed a gas-to-liquids technology that converts natural gas and CO2 into a syngas, which can then easily be transformed into transportation fuels such as diesel, gasoline and jet fuel. This carbon-neutral process is more cost-effective and less energy intensive than alternative gas-to-liquids technologies, because it utilizes a process known as dry reforming. Other methane reforming processes include steam, auto thermal and partial oxidation, each of which is more energy intensive and expensive than dry reforming.
The primary advantage of the Carbon Sciences' technology is that, unlike biofuels or compressed natural gas (CNG), the resulting fuel is a “drop-in” substitute for existing fuel technologies, requiring no new costly distribution infrastructure or engine modifications. The fuel is expected to be cost-competitive with crude oil, which is currently trading at around $80 per barrel.
“Though we are privately funded without financial support from the DOE, we agree with the federal government that a focus on alternative fuel technologies is the best way to bolster our energy infrastructure,” said Elton. “Furthermore, natural gas is our country’s most affordable, abundant energy resource, and alternative fuel technologies that can maximize the potential of this hydrocarbon will be the most effective path in achieving the DOE’s goal.”