Putting a Figure on Fuel

US: Primafuel can measure what a biofuel is really worth — and even make you a better one

Kevin Scanlon for TIME

Brook Porter

To Brook Porter, a barrel of biofuel is like a bushel of tomatoes. It's only as good as where it comes from. "In the organic-food market today, a tomato is not just a tomato," says Porter, 30, Primafuel's executive vice president of operations. "Its value is determined by how it was grown" — is it organic or not, locally grown or imported? But in the infant biofuels industry, there is no widely accepted way to accurately gauge the environmental impact and lifetime carbon content of individual brands of biofuels.

That's what Porter is trying to do with Primafuel. The three-year-old start-up...

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