Constructing green gasoline from scratch using renewable methane
Motor Trend|September 2021
Shortly after our June “Green Issue” dropped, an enthusiast reader wrote to us to say we missed a key alternative fuel technology from Houston-based Nacero: green gasoline constructed from renewable natural gas using renewable energy.
Frank Markus

He’s counting on this miracle fuel to feed his beloved pony car well into the forecast EV future. Sure enough, Nacero’s “green gasoline” products appear quite promising.

These fuels aren’t carbon-free, but their carbon footprint is allegedly at least half that of petroleum-refined gasoline. And they’re naturally free of sulfur, which degrades catalytic converter effectiveness and contributes to ground-level ozone.

Nacero’s process builds the complex hydrocarbon chains that constitute its gasoline (typically comprising five to 12 carbon atoms) by assembling smaller CH 4 methane molecules from natural gas. By contrast, crude oil is composed of long, complicated hydrocarbon chains and myriad impurities like sulfur that must be deconstructed and refined to make gasoline. And although gasoline is the high-value output, refiners must do something with all the heavier, dirtier hydrocarbons, which end up getting burned as bunker oil for shipping and power generation. The refining process itself involves a significant carbon footprint, as do drilling, pumping, and transporting the crude oil.

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