06/16/2015 Bedford, Mass – Joule, the pioneer of liquid fuels from recycled CO2, today announced the issuance of an additional patent on the direct, continuous production of hydrocarbon fuels – extending its ability to target the highest-value molecules of the petroleum distillation process and generate them on demand from sunlight and CO2.
U.S. Patent #9,034,629, issued on May 19, covers both the cyanobacterium and the process for directly converting CO2 into medium-chain alkanes, which are the molecular basis of diesel, jet fuel and gasoline.
This latest issuance complements Joule’s existing patents on the production of long-chain alkanes, ethanol and multiple chemicals, protecting the company’s unique capability to produce a full breadth of drop-in products without biomass feedstocks or complex refining. Moreover, because the process consumes waste CO2 emissions, the resulting fuels can enable carbon-neutral transportation by supplanting their petroleum-derived counterparts.
“We believe that we can deliver a truly carbon-neutral solution for the mobility sector, and our fast-growing intellectual property portfolio is a reflection of the many innovations we have achieved to make this possible,” said Serge Tchuruk, President and CEO of Joule. “Our process can capture and recycle CO2, and tailor the output to the most widely used transportation fuels on the market today. This technology will become increasingly attractive as governments and companies around the world set carbon reduction goals heading into COP 21 this December.”
Joule’s solar process broke ground by using engineered photosynthetic bacteria as catalysts to directly produce and secrete targeted fuel molecules in a continuous, single-step conversion process. By design, the process requires no use of biomass feedstocks or agricultural land. Its main inputs of sunlight, waste CO2 and brackish or sea water make the process well suited for wide-ranging geographies.
Joule has pioneered a CO2-to-fuel production platform, effectively reversing combustion through the use of solar energy. The company’s platform applies engineered catalysts to continuously convert waste CO2 directly into renewable fuels such as ethanol or hydrocarbons for diesel, jet fuel and gasoline. Free of feedstock constraints and complex processing, Joule’s process can achieve unrivaled scalability, volumes and costs without the use of any agricultural land, fresh water or crops. Joule is privately held and has raised over $200 million in funding to date, led by Flagship Ventures. The company operates from Bedford, Massachusetts and The Hague, The Netherlands with production operations in Hobbs, New Mexico.