Joule wins key patent for GMO cyanobacteria that create fuels from sunlight, CO2 and water

September 14, 2010 |

In Massachusetts, Joule Unlimited has won a second key patent for its genetically modified cyanobacteria that directly convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into n-alkanes, and other diesel fuel molecules.  The patent is the first awarded for a bacteria that makes fuel directly from water, sunlight and CO2, as opposed to organisms that make fuels from sugar or other cellulosic biomass, such as those engineered by LS9, Amyris or Solazyme.

As reported previously in the Digest, Joule is using a genetically modified form of cyanobacteria. Two weeks ago, Joule received its first key patent for “methods and compositions for modifying photoautotrophic organisms as hosts, such that the organisms efficiently convert carbon dioxide and light into n-alkanes.”

Reaction from Joule

“This patent award represents a critical milestone for our IP strategy and validates the truly revolutionary nature of our process, which has the potential to yield infrastructure-compatible replacements for fossil fuels at meaningful scale and highly-competitive costs, even before subsidies,” said Bill Sims, President and CEO, Joule.

“Our vision since inception has been to overcome the limitations of biomass-based technologies, from feedstock costs and logistics to inefficient, energy-intensive processing. The result is the world’s first platform for converting sunlight and waste CO2 directly into diesel, requiring no costly intermediates, no use of agricultural land or fresh water, and no downstream processing.”

The Patent grant.

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