TGDaily.com: Firm makes diesel directly from sunlight

Posted on TGDaily.com, Mon, 02/28/2011 – 04:30 by Emma Woollacott

Massachusetts biotech company Joule Unlimited says it’s demonstrated a process for generating pure diesel directly from solar energy.

The company’s Helioculture platform converts sunlight and waste CO2 directly into liquid fuel – Liquid Fuel from the Sun – without the two-stage process of using sunlight to grow plants which are then processed for fuel.

 “We have channeled photosynthesis, the most productive energy-capture process on earth, at efficiencies previously thought unattainable. At the same time we’ve eliminated dependence on biomass, the Achilles heel of biofuel production, and the prohibitive costs, processing and logistics it entails,” says Bill Sims, president and CEO of Joule.

“The result is a new paradigm for renewable fuel production with unrivalled productivity targets that are fully supported by actual, measurable gains we’ve achieved at every layer – from photon capture through product synthesis, secretion, separation and collection.”

In a peer-reviewed article published by Photosynthesis Research, Joule demonstrates that it can directly produce 15,000 gallons of diesel per acre annually, as compared to 3,000 gallons of biodiesel produced indirectly from algae.

The solar-to-product conversion efficiency of Joule’s direct, continuous process for producing diesel, ethanol and chemicals is between five and 50X greater than any biomass-dependent process – and there’s no need for downstream refining.

“We have shown that photosynthesis is the superior platform technology for direct, renewable fuel production at the volumes and costs required to supplant fossil fuels,” says Dan Robertson, senior vice president of biological sciences at Joule.

“The engineering of a photosynthetic microorganism to directly synthesize an infrastructure-compatible product, and continuously secrete that product, represents a landmark in industrial bioprocessing.”



Advertisements
This entry was posted in SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY by ThinkWingRadio. Bookmark the permalink.

About ThinkWingRadio

Mike Honig is originally from Brooklyn, New York. He moved to Houston in September of 1977 and has been there ever since. Mike's interests are politics, history, science, science fiction (and reading generally), technology, and almost anything else. Mike has knowledge and experience in many diverse fields, sometimes from having worked in them, and sometimes from extensive reading or discussion about them. Mike's general knowledge makes him a favorite partner in Trivial Pursuit. He likes to say that about most things, he knows enough to be dangerous. Humility is a work-in-progress.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s