Green Gas

Green gasoline or bio-oil is a liquid identical to standard gasoline yet created from sustainable biomass sources like switchgrass and poplar trees.  This means that green gasoline can be produced, transported and burned without making changes in our current gasoline transportation systems. 

Chart showing the steps for flash pyrolysis.

A process, called fast or flash pyrolysis, occurs when heating compact solid fuels at temperatures between 350 and 500 degrees Celsius for a very short period of time (less than 2 seconds).  This creates a bio-oil mixture of about 300 compounds that can be upgraded in a catalytic process that creates green gasoline, biodiesel and other transportation fuels.

Current U.S. policy has emphasized ethanol produced from corn and cellulose and biodiesel created from oil crops like canola, soybeans and sunflower mainly because the technology to make these conversions already exist.  As research and development continues in the area of biofuels, it is likely that fast pyrolysis will be used to create green gasoline or bio-oil on a larger scale