Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Gasoline out of Thin Air: Our Investment With Prometheus Fuels

Greg Smithies
BMW i Ventures Blog

June 18, 2020 — Santa Cruz, CA

(Image source: BMW i Ventures)

Santa Cruz-based Prometheus Fuels is at the forefront of renewable energy technology in the auto industry, massively reducing the climate impact of internal combustion engines

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. 

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