Carbon Sciences Inc., the developer of a technology to transform greenhouse gases into gasoline and other portable fuels, says it has successful synthesized a proprietary raw catalyst that is an essential step toward demonstrating commercial feasibility of the technology.

In June of this year, we filed a landmark patent application for our breakthrough CO2-based Gas-to-Liquids technology. The production of this catalyst is the actual laboratory scale implementation of the catalyst formulation and its synthesis process disclosed in the patent. It is a major step forward for us

—CEO Byron Elton

The major challenge in CO2-based GTL reactions is the activation of stable carbon dioxide and methane molecules, the company says. Unlike conventional GTL, the Carbon Sciences’ CO2-GTL Gasoline process allows CO2 to react directly with methane, through its novel catalyst, at a much lower temperature and pressure to produce a renewable and clean-burning gasoline. The overall reaction is:

CH4 + CO2 → (C5-10Hn) + H2O

The catalyst performs two important functions: (1) Extract hydrogen atoms from CH4 to form low-level hydrocarbons, and (2) Convert low-level hydrocarbons into higher-level gasoline range hydrocarbons.

Gas-to-liquids (GTL) is a complimentary refinery processes that converts natural gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons into longer chain hydrocarbons such as gasoline. Carbon Sciences estimates that they can produce 138 billion gallons of gasoline a year (the annual amount used in the US) with 23 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 586 million tons of CO2 without using crude oil or competing with current natural gas consumption.