Joule’s waste CO2 ethanol caps standards tests, nears commercialisation

Joule, the Massachusetts-headquartered pioneer of liquid fuels from recycled CO2, announced the successful results from third-party testing of its ethanol fuel, setting the stage to obtain certification for commercial use. Initiated by German carmaker and Joule’s strategic partner, Audi, the test results confirmed that Joule’s ethanol comply with the US and Europe standards, respectively, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D4806 – Denatured fuel ethanol for blending with gasolines for use as automotive spark-ignition engine fuel; and the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN) EN 15376 – Ethanol as a blending component for petrol.

Joule has initiated efforts to use these results to obtain the government approvals needed for commercialisation of its ethanol fuel.

Serge Tchuruk, President and CEO of Joule explains that their technology, which uses waste CO2 as a feedstock, has the two-fold advantage of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and producing cost-competitive, drop-in fuels. This offers a solution to CO2 emitters and to fuel users, thus, directly supporting a low carbon economy.

Reiner Mangold, head of sustainable product development, Audi, expressed that the successful testing of ethanol produced from CO2 will support greener global transportation.

Joule and Audi formed a partnership in 2011 to accelerate the development and commercialisation of CO2-neutral fuels. These efforts include fuel testing and validation, lifecycle analysis and support for Joule’s production facility in Hobbs, New Mexico, where demonstration-scale production of ethanol is underway. AUDI is also supporting Joule’s hydrocarbon product, which was previously tested and shown to meet ASTM specifications in diesel blends of up to 50%. This product will follow ethanol to market.

Joule’s CO2-derived ethanol will address a global biofuels market of approximately 1.9 million barrels consumed per day. It is chemically identical to fuel-grade ethanol on the market today, yet it differs in the way it is produced. Unlike processes requiring the fermentation of sugars from corn, cellulose or other biomass materials, Joule uses engineered catalysts to recycle industrial CO2 emissions directly into ethanol, avoiding the use of crops, arable land and fresh water. At full-scale commercialisation, Joule ultimately targets productivity of up to 25,000 gallons of ethanol per acre annually.


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