Gasoline out of Thin Air: Our Investment In Prometheus Fuels
Note: This story is a repost from the BMW i Ventures blog
Imagine you drive to the gas station and pump your car with gas…except, this time, your weekly pit stop won’t affect the environment whatsoever. The new kind of gasoline coursing through your vehicle doesn’t add CO2 to the atmosphere. In fact, it is molecularly identical to the gasoline made from oil — but instead of being mined from the earth, the fuel comes from existing CO2 in the atmosphere. What I’m describing might sound like science fiction, but with Prometheus Fuels, it’s leaping off the page to become a reality, as early as this year.
While renewable energy was once an expensive alternative, it’s now surpassing fossil fuels and coal plants in efficiency and affordability. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, this year the U.S. is set to produce more electricity from renewable energy than coal for the first time in history. And in many markets, it’s cheaper to build new renewables than to produce electricity from existing coal plants. What that means is that previously not-cost-competitive chemical processes that require lots of electricity to run are now starting to become economically viable far faster than people expected. To continue forging onward on this path, we are thrilled to partner with Prometheus Fuels, the energy company removing CO2 from the air and turning it into zero-net carbon gasoline. By massively reducing the climate impact of today’s internal combustion engines, Prometheus Fuels is at the forefront of renewable energy technology within the automotive industry.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year and transportation accounts for ~25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With Prometheus Fuels, this doesn’t have to be the case. Ordinary cars can use the fuel with no modifications, and given it is produced from CO2 that was extracted from the atmosphere, each gallon that is burned has net-zero carbon impact, or net-negative impact if you take into account the gallon of fossil-fuel gasoline that will not be burned because of the Prometheus fuel.
But why can’t we simply electrify vehicles? Why do we even need something like Prometheus? The average car stays on the road for 8 years in the United States (longer in other countries); this means that even if we were to only sell 100% electric vehicles starting today, it would still take well over 8 years to electrify all the cars on the road. Juxtapose that against the accelerating climate crisis and we realized it’s simply not fast enough. We need a solution like Prometheus to allow existing vehicles to become carbon-neutral while the world takes the time to electrify the fleet; which will realistically take decades. So Prometheus’ solution is a critical piece of the puzzle for fighting climate change at scale, now.
BMW i Ventures’ support of Prometheus underscores our mission to back purpose-driven entrepreneurs that are making real world impact on mobility. Our support will allow Prometheus Fuels to continue its mission of eliminating the need for fossil fuels, as well as accelerate the company’s efforts to bring its zero-net carbon fuel to consumers quickly.
A leader in the renewable energy space, Prometheus gasoline comes at a time when the need to combat climate change is no longer an option. Replacing all fuels made from oil and gas with zero-net carbon fuels can reduce global carbon emissions by approximately 25 percent, a huge step in the fight against climate change. We’re excited to see what Prometheus Fuels has in the pipeline next in its mission to eliminate fossil fuels.
Prometheus gasoline can be used in any car that uses gasoline now. Its carbon-neutral gasoline from CO2 is captured from the air, and will be coming to market priced competitively, compared to fossil fuels. Additionally, Prometheus Fuels provides zero-net carbon diesel fuels as well as gasoline and jet fuels which can be used in any aircraft.
Using its breakthrough technology and affordable electricity from renewables, Prometheus is solving key problems in CO2 capture, fuel synthesis and fuel separation to create zero-net carbon fuels, at scale, affordably.