Joule Unlimited: Biofuels Digest’s 5-Minute Guide

October 25, 2012 |

Address: 83 Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA 02142

Year founded: 2007

Company description:

Joule is advancing a production platform for Liquid Fuel from the Sun™, expected to eclipse the scale, productivity and cost efficiency of any known alternative to fossil fuel today. Its transformative Helioculture™ platform directly and continuously converts sunlight and waste CO2 to infrastructure-ready diesel, ethanol or commodity chemicals with no dependence on biomass feedstocks, downstream processing or precious natural resources. This process can yield renewable fuels and chemicals in unprecedented volumes with a fraction of the land required by current methods, leapfrogging biomass-dependent approaches and eliminating the economic and environmental disadvantages of fossil fuels. Additional information is available at www.jouleunlimited.com.

Major Investors

Flagship Ventures plus private and institutional investors

Type of Technology(ies)

A platform for the direct, continuous conversion of sunlight and waste CO2 to liquid fuels and chemicals.

Feedstocks:

Industrial waste CO2

Products

Hydrocarbon diesel, ethanol and multiple chemicals conventionally derived from petroleum

Product Cost (if applicable – per US gallon): (Costs per US gallon for fuels, costs per pound for chemicals and/or biomaterials. If you do not manufacture or have long-term stable feedstock pricing, please use the latest December futures contract pricing for traded feedstocks, or $55/ton for untraded biomass – or provide notes on your own feedstock pricing assumptions).

Diesel = $0.48/gallon with subsidies ($1.19/gallon without subsidies)
Ethanol = $0.60/gallon with subsidies ($1.23/gallon without subsidies)

Past Milestones

• Built pilot plant and commenced production.
• Issuance of the company’s first 6 U.S. patents (and counting), with 70+ applications pending.
• Completed construction of demonstration plant and begin operations
• Completed construction on its first commercial-scale unit in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Future Milestones

• Continue technology/system optimization towards ethanol and diesel productivity targets
• Incrementally scale up to commercial production and deployment of facilities worldwide, with commercially available products less expensive than biofuels.

Business Model: 
The company intends to commercially develop diesel fuel and also bring products to market via strategic development partnerships. Joule will also provide SolarConverter hardware, technology and deployment know-how transfer and controlled access to production strains.

Competitive Edge(s):

• Proven conversion of sunlight and waste CO2 directly into infrastructure-ready

Products:

• Diesel (hydrocarbons), ethanol and value-added chemicals

• Directly produces fungible fuels vs. oils that require refining or chemical upgrading
• No dependence on costly biomass feedstocks or complex processing/logistics
• An integrated system up to 100X more efficient than biomass-dependent processes
• Productivity up to 15,000 gal diesel/acre/year and 25,000 gal ethanol/acre/year
• Costs (including capital) as low as $20/bble of diesel and $0.60/gal ethanol, including subsidies
• Fully modular system and scalable to billions of gallons with comparatively minimal land use
• Ecologically-sound process doesn’t require arable land or fresh water
• Strong IP position with 6 U.S. patents granted and 70+ applications filed
• World-class team of biologists, biochemists, engineers, industrial experts and executive leadership

Stage (Bench, pilot, demonstration, commercial)

Demonstration

Company Website

 

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