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Gevo Inc unveils Net-Zero 1 project to turn renewable energy into liquid hydrocarbons

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Gevo Inc (NASDAQ:GEVO) has announced the first project in its new Net-Zero series, which is designed to create energy dense liquid hydrocarbons that deliver net-zero greenhouse gas emissions when burned. 

Essentially, the Net-Zero process works by converting renewable energy (read: photosynthetic, wind, renewable natural gas, biogas) into energy dense liquid hydrocarbons that, when burned in traditional engines, have the potential to achieve net-zero GHG emissions over the lifecycle of the fuel. That includes capturing carbon from the atmosphere, processing to make liquid fuel products and burning it as fuel in cars, planes, etc.

The first project, Net-Zero 1, is planned for Lake Preston, South Dakota. Gevo anticipates a capacity of 45 million gallons per year of hydrocarbons, 350 million pounds per year of high protein feed products for use in the food chain, enough renewable natural gas to be self-sufficient.

READ: Gevo pays off $12.7M in convertible notes, reduces debt balance to zero

Because of the low-carbon footprint feedstocks, the sustainable agricultural practices used to produce feedstock and the use of renewable energy for the production processes, the hydrocarbon fuel products produced at Net-Zero 1 have the potential to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, the company said. 

The operation will be able to generate renewable electricity on site with a combined heat and power system, in addition to utilizing wind energy, the company said. 

The capital cost for Net-Zero 1 is projected to be roughly $700 million, which includes hydrocarbon production and related renewable energy infrastructure.

Citigroup is assisting Gevo in raising the necessary capital for Net-Zero 1, the company said.

“This is not a new project but rather the first of the projects that we have been working on with Citigroup to get financed,” CEO Patrick Gruber said in a statement. “We are naming our future projects Net-Zero to make clear the mission we are on to reduce GHG emissions. By using carbon from the air as our raw material source with its inherent low-carbon footprint, sustainable agriculture, a combination of renewable energy obtained from photosynthesis, wind, and biogas, we see that it is possible to transform renewable energy into liquid hydrocarbon fuels that work with combustion engines typical of cars, planes, and trucks with the added benefit that these fuels have a net-zero carbon footprint across the whole lifecycle.”

The company is utilizing Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET (Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation) life cycle analysis model to determine net-zero GHG emissions. The GREET model takes into account emissions and impacts “cradle to cradle” for renewable resource-based fuels.

“Think about it; it is conceivable to eliminate tailpipe emissions from cars, planes and trucks on a net GHG basis, while leveraging existing cars, planes, and trucks on a full ‘cradle-to-cradle’ GHG basis,” Gruber said. “Our Net-Zero 1 project isn’t just about capturing renewable energy and carbon and transforming it into liquid renewable energy; it’s also about generating enormous quantities of protein, [as well as] nutrition for the food chain. The high protein feed would be low-carbon footprint too — and we are happy to help farmers raise beef, pigs, chicken and dairy in a way that lowers GHG emissions. We’ve got work to do to make it all happen.”

Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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