Cool Planet Plans to Turn Cobs Into Gas at $1.50 a Gallon

Cool Planet Energy Systems, a biofuels maker backed by Google Inc. (GOOG), General Electric Co. (GE) and BP Plc (BP/), plans to build 30 manufacturing plants within three years to make gasoline, according to Chief Executive Officer Howard Janzen.

The company uses a chemical-mechanical process to convert biomass such as corncobs, grass and non-food crops into fuel for about $1.50 a gallon, Janzen said in an interview yesterday.

Google tested the fuel in a vehicle at its Mountain View, California, headquarters, according to a statement today from Camarillo, California-based Cool Planet.

Cool Planet has contractual agreements to sell $500 million of fuel, so there’s “a home for this product already,” said Janzen. Instead of large plants that take years to receive permits and build, Cool Planet wants to mass-produce small refineries that may be delivered in multiple, shipping- container-sized modules, Janzen said.

The mobile facilities can produce about 10 million gallons of fuel a year and the company is aiming to build 400 such plants within seven to eight years, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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