PNNL Scientists Making a Process to Turn Biofuel Into Gasoline - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

PNNL Scientists Making a Process to Turn Biofuel Into Gasoline

Posted: Updated:

RICHLAND, Wash-- Scientists at PNNL have found a process to make fuel without drilling for oil. This renewable fuel could be used to make diesel and gasoline at refineries.

It's one science project they don't want to keep a secret. PNNL is the only laboratory in America that is going public with hydro processing bio-oil that could lower our reliance on foreign oil.

"It could provide a very substantial portion of it somewhere in the 1/3 to 1/2 of the petroleum requirements we have right now," said Doug Elliot, PNNL Scientist.  

Here's how it works: agricultural waste, like saw dust, goes through a gasification process to create oil that could be refined into gasoline or diesel. 

Scientist at PNNL say this revolutionary process will not hurt the oil industry but provide a new mode of operation.

"The fact is the oil supplies in the U.S. are on a downward slide, they have been for a number of years," said Elliot.

PNNL is working with a company in Chicago called UOP to develop a large scale refining process. A study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory said there is 1.3 billion tons of biomass that could be recovered without affecting the food source.

"I honestly do believe that PNNL, working here at the facility, will indeed make a significant impact," said Geoffery Harvey, Media Relations at PNNL.

The Department of Energy is funding the PNNL scientists' research. They say America cannot just rely on drilling and we need to find alternative fuel sources. The best way to support their work is to write your congressman.