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Making Gasoline With Biomass

Is it possible to make gasoline with biomass? Some people think so and this is what CORE BioFuel has set out to do since it was founded in 2008.

The company’s mission is to commercialize its biomass-to-gasoline process, a patent-pending variant of ExxonMobil’s methanol-to-gasoline (MTG). CORE BioFuel says it has modified and improved the process because it has bypassed the production of methanol to produce engine-ready Green Gasoline.

So what is Green Gasoline? In theory it is a carbon neutral, ultra-low benzene, 94 octane type of gasoline, a greener alternative to the gasoline that is made out of petroleum. The raw material of CORE BioFuel’s Green Gasoline is wood fiber, such as forestry slash, sawmill residues etc.

The company says its brand of gasoline contains little or no Criteria Air Contaminants and is ultra low in benzene fuel. Its lifecycle is carbon neutral because the process itself and the use of the fuel could offset the greenhouse gas emissions involved.

The company says one of the economic advantages is that, unlike food crops used to make ethanol, it is not tied to the volatile pricing fluctuations, such as corn. Besides, ethanol is not a replacement for gasoline due to engine restrictions.

Earlier in May, CORE BioFuel announced it has selected Technip to complete the construction engineering of its first refinery. The plant is expected to produce 67 million liters of renewable gasoline and generate over 20 million liters of water annually from wood waste.

What do you think? Is wood waste a really sustainable alternative to fossil fuel?

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.