Virent Energy Systems plans to open a test facility that will convert sugar cane, sugar beets, and other plants into the chemical equivalent of gasoline (not ethanol.)
Their CEO said “The molecules we make are exactly the same as the ones that you use to drive vehicles today. It just so happens that ours are made from sugar water.” He says the entire process will be carbon neutral and the gasoline will have lower levels of pollutants.
They hope to build a commercial scale facility at some point.
He said in the long term he anticipates the company can compete without subsidies for domestically made biofuels. “At some point, biomass is a viable alternative with superior margins to crude oil.”