Breakthrough platform for direct conversion of sunlight into renewable diesel earns Joule a place among the prestigious Technology Review TR10 for 2010
Cambridge, Mass. – April 21, 2010 – Joule today announced the inclusion of its solar platform for renewable fuel production among MIT Technology Review’s 2010 TR10, an annual list of the world’s ten most important emerging technologies. The distinction follows Joule’s selection to the 2010 TR50 in February, which recognized the world’s 50 most innovative companies. Alongside Google, Joule was one of only two companies to achieve both honors.
“What would an ideal renewable fuel look like? The solution being developed by Joule appears to answer that question, and has the potential to compete with petroleum on a large scale, supplying us with a clean and homegrown source of fuel that can also be deployed worldwide,” said David Rotman, editor, Technology Review.
Joule’s platform is the first to convert sunlight and waste CO2 into liquid fuels, including fungible diesel, in a direct, single-step, continuous process – eliminating the biomass dependencies and inefficient processing that have hindered biofuels. As cited by Technology Review, this elimination of the “middleman” allows Joule to achieve much higher productivities with comparatively minimal land use. At full-scale production, Joule can generate billions of gallons of renewable diesel in a highly-efficient process that conserves natural resources and consumes waste CO2. Not only will this process meet rapidly-growing diesel demand, it will stimulate green jobs creation and help to support energy security throughout the world.
“The pressing need to replace fossil fuels has triggered tremendous research and investment in numerous alternatives, which is why we’re thrilled to be recognized for achieving the most important new advancement in the field,” said Bill Sims, president and CEO, Joule. “We have systematically addressed each of the hurdles facing renewable fuels – from feedstock costs and limitations to inefficient, multi-step batch processing. The result is a transformative solar platform for renewable diesel production, yielding stable and predictable supply at costs competitive with crude oil – bridging the gap towards energy independence.”
“Joule was founded with a vision for the ideal renewable fuel platform, targeting unlimited scale of production with low-risk deployment and minimal environmental footprint,” said Noubar Afeyan, founder and chairman, Joule and managing partner and CEO, Flagship Ventures. “Three years later, it’s exciting to see this vision result in an integrated system and process design for renewable diesel that can begin commercial rollout as soon as 2012. Joule is at the forefront of an entirely new category of direct solar fuels that have tremendous potential to transform the oil and energy landscape.”
Joule’s Helioculture™ platform incorporates proprietary, photosynthetic organisms to capture sunlight and convert CO2 directly into liquid fuels. Because the organisms act as catalysts to synthesize and secrete the fuels, Joule avoids costly steps such as large-scale biomass production and collection or other downstream refinement. The modular, scalable SolarConverter™ system facilitates the entire continuous process from photon capture to product synthesis and initial separation, with no requirement for agricultural land, fresh water or crops.
The TR10 winning technologies were chosen based on the editors’ coverage of key fields, recognizing world-changing innovations such as engineered stem cells, green cement and implantable electronics in addition to Joule’s solar fuel. Additional information is available at www.technologyreview.com/tr10/.
Joule is tackling the global energy crisis with a game-changing, renewable alternative to transportation fuels. Its patent-pending Helioculture™ technology surpasses the limitations of biomass-derived approaches by using sunlight to convert CO2 directly into fungible fuels and chemicals. This direct-to-fuel conversion requires no fresh water and minimal non-agricultural land, avoids costly intermediates and processing, and finally enables the scale, unlimited quantities and pricing required for energy independence. Founded in 2007 by Flagship Venture Labs, Joule is privately held and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Additional information is available at www.joulebio.com.
About Flagship Ventures
Flagship Ventures is a leading venture firm focused on creating, financing and building companies that aim to transform the healthcare and sustainability sectors. Founded in 2000 and operating from its offices in Cambridge, Mass, Flagship manages over $600 million in early-stage capital invested across 66 companies. Unique to the venture industry, Flagship actively conceives and founds new ventures through its Flagship Venture Labs group. In addition to Joule, Flagship Venture Labs has founded 22 pioneering companies. For more information, please visit www.flagshipventures.com.