Thursday, July 28, 2011

Joule Ethanol Production from Sunlight and CO2

Sources of waste CO2 are widely available, including corn-fed ethanol biorefineries. Therefor this ethanol production process could be a game changer if it is scalable and perfected as this company expects. They plan to begin commercial production in 2012. They say they have engineered microorganisms capable of continuous ethanol production using sunlight and CO2 as the inputs.
Joule Awarded Patents for High-Volume Ethanol Production from Sunlight and CO2: "These innovations, together with Joule's advances in bioprocessing and solar capture and conversion, will help Joule achieve an ultimate target of 25,000 gallons per acre annually – a rate that is 10X greater than that of cellulosic ethanol and 100X greater than corn ethanol – while requiring no depletion of food crops, agricultural land or fresh water. In addition, by eliminating the need for biomass, Joule avoids the burden of fluctuating feedstock cost and supply, as well as the energy-intensive, multi-step conversion of biomass to product. At full-scale commercial production Joule expects to produce ethanol for as little as $0.60/gallon."