Upstart company has patent to make fuel from trash
By Oliver Ludwig
NEW YORK, Jan 15 (Reuters) - A New York-based energy company,
armed with rights to a patent on a gasoline substitute made
mostly out of trash, is now laying the groundwork to launch the
THE TOP BRASS of Pure Energy Corp. say the fuel, made from
as much as 70 percent renewable resources - or garbage - could
also help to reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil, which is
at about 55 percent of total consumption and growing.
They said the fuel, called "P-Series," will find its
way initially into alternative fuel vehicles, already
required by federal and state government agencies. By the
year 2002, all federal and state vehicle fleets will have to
be able to run on alternative fuels.
"There is a market that, on an increasing basis, isn't
buying an oil product," said Pure Energy's President, Rick
Andlinger, noting that the company plans to choose a site
for its first commercial plant by the end of the year. The
U.S. Department of Energy is on the verge of approving
P-Series as an official alternative fuel, which will ease
its acceptability in government vehicle fleets, Andlinger said.
Andlinger and other Pure Energy executives acknowledged
that gaining market share will be hard since oil prices are at
their lowest inflation-adjusted levels in a generation. But
they said the P-Series fuel, made mostly from urban garbage,
is also likely to get a boost because of growing problems with
"The areas that would be most suited (for fuel plants)
would have lots of trash, lots of people, lots of cars and
bad air," Andlinger told Reuters, adding areas that fit
this bill include much of the Northeast and West Coast,
the Gulf Coast, and areas in and around Chicago and Denver.
Plants are also likely to be built in states that offer tax
incentives on production of alternative fuels, company officials
said. An added benefit is that the production of the fuel is
also likely to address the global warming problem by processing
trash into P-Series before it emits carbon dioxide or methane -
two so-called greenhouse gases.
The first plant would have annual capacity of at least
30 million gallons, or enough to power 30,000 to 40,000
cars, and will be located no more than 100 miles from where
its users are.
Andlinger, a former Wall Street investment banker
specializing in energy companies, said Pure Energy has to
raise capital to realize its plans, and could end up issuing
shares of stock to do so.
"We need to find a source of capital, and going public
would be one of them," Andlinger said, adding the company
is now privately held, 50 percent by its directors.
The fuel is a blend of natural gas liquids, renewable
ethanol and another renewable additive, with the key difference
being that the ethanol and other renewable additive would
be made from trash rather than agricultural products
The fuel was developed and patented by researchers
at Princeton University, which then licensed it to Pure Energy.©