Los Angeles Business Journal

Cool Planet BioFuels to Start Road Tests

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cool Planet BioFuels on Wednesday said it received approval from the California Air Resources Board to begin fleet-testing its experimental “negative carbon” gasoline, which can be made from corn cobs, woodchips or other low-grade biomass.

The Camarillo company said that the first road tests will involve combining its product with California standard E-10 gasoline in an effort to meet the state’s goal of a 10 percent reduction in “carbon intensity” in standard pump gas by 2020.

“This ruling will help Cool Planet BioFuels move closer to commercializing its environmentally friendly gasoline, which it can produce from almost any kind of biomass on a small, cost-effective scale,” said Kevin Skillern of Energy Technology Ventures, which is an investor in the company. The first fleet test fuel will be made from Mid-Western sourced corn cobs, but grass and other common biomass can be ingredients

The company said its fuel is chemically identical to traditional gasoline and can be used in any recent gasoline-fueled automobile. Cool Planet claims its product actually removes carbon from the atmosphere because a byproduct of the manufacturing process can be converted to a soil conditioner.

Energy Technology Ventures is a joint venture of GE, NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips. Other Cool Planet investors include Shea Ventures, BP Ventures and Google Ventures. The company is in the middle of raising its third round of funding but did not provide details.