Joule, the pioneer of drop-in liquid fuels from recycled CO2, announced today that it has gained significant traction in the acceleration and commercialization of environmentally sustainable ultra-low carbon fuel technologies in 2015. Joule also announced the formal completion of its acquisition of Red Rock Biofuels, a leading project development company of renewable jet and diesel fuel based on waste from biomass or other sources.
Joule has developed groundbreaking pathways for large scale fuel production directly or indirectly from any CO2 stream. In 2015, Joule produced fuels from its groundbreaking Helioculture™ technology at ever increasing productivity levels at the end-to-end demonstration facility in Hobbs, New Mexico, and achieved record breaking productivity levels for both ethanol and diesel products in its lab facilities in Bedford, Mass. The Helioculture™ technology essentially converts CO2 back into useful products in real-time on non-arable land through biocatalysts using only sunlight and saline water. With 2015 being the warmest year on record, CO2 emissions at record high levels and mobility demand continuing to grow for liquid fuel based engines, the need for ultra-low carbon fuels is more evident than ever before. Joule closed out 2015 with major steps towards commercializing its widely patented process, which points to broader roll-out of this technology within the end of this decade.
To accelerate the commercialization of ultra-low carbon fuels, Joule announced the acquisition of Red Rock Biofuels, adding a near-term commercial capability to produce drop-in, renewable diesel and jet fuel. The Red Rock technology solution is a novel scaled down version of the proven Fischer-Tropsch process technology that enables conversion of smaller feedstock volumes to ultra-low carbon fuels. The amount of available and currently unused biomass residue and municipal waste streams provide a globally scalable solution for drop–in, ultra-low carbon, renewable fuel products. In conjunction with this acquisition, Joule also announced that Flagship Ventures partner Brian Baynes took over as CEO of the combined entity while industry veteran and former Joule CEO Serge Tchuruk returned to his former role on Joule’s board.
The combination of the two process technology platforms provides a unique basis for accelerating the transformation of the growing mobility sector across the planet into a sustainable sector. Joule represents a general solution to enable sustainable fuels for combustion engines within existing infrastructure without the need for replacing large vehicle parks or massive additional infrastructure investments. Joule can specifically offer industrial companies and governments rapid and scalable ultra-low carbon solutions to current emission and waste problems, ensure security of sustainable fuel supply locally and solve the emission challenges globally. As an example of this, Joule announced a partnership with HeidelbergCement, a leading cement and building materials company with over 2,300 locations worldwide, to explore application of Joule's technology to mitigate carbon emissions in cement manufacturing.
Joule furthermore secured $40 million in private equity and venture debt financing to support the company's growth towards commercialization, and brought Joule’s total to above $200 million raised to date including funds raised from the inception of Red Rock Biofuels.
Additional 2015 highlights include:
- Prestigious Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award for its ability to recycle waste CO2 into drop-in liquid fuels;
- Strengthened its patent portfolio, including a patent on its direct, continuous production of hydrocarbon fuels;
- Announced that its fuel-grade, Sunflow©-E ethanol was registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for commercial use in E10 and E15 gasoline blends; and
- Participated in COP21, the UN's Climate Change Summit, discussing the potential of carbon neutral fuels to supply the world's mobility and transportation needs.
"In 2015, we continued to make great strides towards commercialization through a strategic acquisition of Red Rock Biofuels, a new partnership and enhancements to our patented process," said Baynes. "As climate change was brought to the forefront with COP21, it has become increasingly clear that the need for this type of scalable and diversified solution is greater than ever, and we're looking forward to a busy and successful 2016."
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, Fort Collins in Colorado, The Hague in The Netherlands with production operations in Hobbs, New Mexico and in Lakeview, Oregon.
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