It was late 2018 when we first heard about a company that set out to do what seemed impossible at that time: turn CO2 into fuel. Apart from being able to absorb harmful CO2 from the atmosphere, this new company was actually talking about turning it into fuel. Today, BMW i Ventures announced that it will be investing in the company who came up with this process, Prometheus Fuels.
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Look beyond the pretentious name and you’ll find a company that aims to make our lives better. And that goal was just validated by BMW and their $12.5 million investment, through its BMW i Ventures arm. “The ability to create gasoline from air, cost competitively with fossil fuels, is a game changer,” said Greg Smithies, Partner, BMW i Ventures.
“The average car stays on the road for over eight years; meaning that even if the whole world switched to buying 100% electric cars tomorrow, it would still take almost a decade for today’s internal combustion engines to be off the road. Clearly we aren’t switching to 100% electric vehicles tomorrow, so that’s not fast enough. By creating carbon-neutral gasoline from CO2 captured from the air, Prometheus Fuels allows the climate impact of today’s internal combustion engines to be massively reduced immediately.”
The company announced it will be selling its carbon-neutral gasoline at retail pumps later this year. This will basically allow you to buy gasoline that doesn’t add any CO2 to the atmosphere when burned. Replacing all fuels made from oil and gas with zero-net-carbon fuels can reduce approximately 25 percent of global carbon emissions, making this one of the largest levers that modern society has in the fight against climate change.
“By using our zero net carbon fuel, which recycles the CO2 that’s already in the air, we can extend the runway we have to solve the climate crisis,” said Rob McGinnis, founder and CEO of Prometheus. “BMW i Ventures is a leader in investing in new tech in the manufacturing and transportation space. Their investment will help us to accelerate our efforts to bring our zero-net carbon fuel to market quickly.”
Founded by Rob McGinnis, a Yale Engineering PhD with multiple successful startups under his belt, Prometheus launched from Y Combinator in early 2019. The company’s mission is to eliminate the need for fossil fuels by removing CO2 from the air and turning it into gasoline that can immediately be used in standard vehicles with no modifications.