Joule, the pioneer of drop-in liquid fuels from recycled CO2, today announced major accomplishments in the first quarter of 2016 that are accelerating the commercialization of environmentally sustainable ultra-low carbon fuel. These advancements include EPA approval of Joule’s Sunflow®-E? ethanol process as an advanced biofuel and technical breakthroughs of Joule’s award-winning CO2-to-fuel process.
To make its Sunflow-E ethanol, which is chemically identical to traditional ethanol, Joule converts CO2 to ethanol directly in a continuous process, using engineered bacteria as living catalysts rather than biomass feedstocks. Following a rigorous vetting process, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has qualified Joule’s Sunflow-E? ethanol pathway for generating advanced biofuel (D-code 5) RINs under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
Under the CAA and the Renewable Fuel Standard, advanced biofuels must reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 50 percent when compared to traditional petroleum based fuels. In the EPA’s analysis, Joule’s Sunflow-E was found to reduce lifecycle GHG emissions by a whopping 85 percent, significantly above the required threshold.
This recognition from the EPA validates Joule’s mission to create carbon-neutral fuels for a sustainable tomorrow, and follows the 2015 announcement that Joule’s Sunflow-E ethanol was registered by the EPA for commercial use. Further details on Joule’s helioculture process and the EPA’s analysis can be found in the full report, located here.
“Following strong momentum in 2015, we’re pleased to start this year off in such a productive manner, with some major highlights on the technical and regulatory front,” said Brian Baynes, Joule CEO. “The qualification from the EPA allows Joule to compete with other forms of ethanol and provides our customers and partners with the full benefit of renewable fuels from a cost, production and environmental standpoint.”
Joule develops technology platforms for the production of sustainable, drop-in, ultra-low carbon transportation fuels. The company has pioneered a direct CO2-to-fuel production platform, effectively reversing combustion through the use of solar energy. This platform applies engineered catalysts to continuously convert waste CO2 directly into renewable fuels such as ethanol or hydrocarbons for diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline. The proprietary, scaled-down microchannel biomass-to-liquid process adds an indirect CO2 to liquid conversion capability. Flexible to utilize a variety of feedstocks, geographies, and climates, Joule’s processes enable unrivaled scalability and volume at ever reducing costs. Joule is privately held and has raised over $200 million in funding to date, led by Flagship Ventures. The company operates from Bedford in Massachusetts and Fort Collins in Colorado with production operations in Hobbs, New Mexico and in Lakeview, Oregon.
Source: Joule, press release, 2016-04-06.