Joule Unlimited and Joule Fuels Update/PROMPT
As the close of my Creative Writing Degree draws nearer, those hard life questions have assumed a large amount of my time. But, I just can’t be quiet about some of the recent announcements that have come out of one of my favorite companies, Joule Unlimited and Joule Fuels.
First announcement comes from a press release posted on 4/15/13 that is a basic summary from a presentation at the Advanced Biofuels Leaders Conference 2013.
Joule Extends Solar CO2-Conversion Platform to Produce Renewable Gasoline and Jet Fuel
– Joule today announced another industry first in renewable fuel production: the direct conversion of waste CO2 into the essential components of gasoline and jet fuel. The breakthrough gives Joule the opportunity to expand its Sunflow™ product line and help address global demand for true hydrocarbon fuel replacements.
– To date, renewable hydrocarbon-based fuel substitutes have required the complex, multi-step conversion of algal or other agricultural biomass feedstocks into fuel pre-cursors, and subsequent chemical upgrading. In contrast, Joule has engineered photosynthetic biocatalysts that convert waste CO2 into hydrocarbons through a patented, continuous process. Joule has been successfully scaling its process for making ethanol (Sunflow-E) while also developing long-chain hydrocarbons for diesel (Sunflow-D). With its latest breakthrough, Joule becomes the first company able to directly produce medium-chain hydrocarbons which are substantial components of gasoline (Sunflow-G) and jet fuel (Sunflow-J).
Click the LINK to check out more from the press release. But the important thing is Joule Unlimited has unlocked the potential to make Jet and Gasoline fuels on top of the already impressive Ethanol and Diesel variants by redefining what most EcoCritics call a waste gas (CO2) and using it to fuel (little biofuel humor) their Cyanobacteria factories.
If that sounds weird, don’t worry it is. But this is the essentially the same process as making beer. Real simply, Brewers feed yeast cultures simple sugars (mash) and the yeast cultures in turn produce the vapors that gets turned into alcohol. Here is an info graphic from PopSci that breaks that down.
That wasn’t the only tasty nugget of information that David Berry and crew had available. Looks like the Joule Unlimited family is expanding, with Joule Fuels. Their offices are even in The Netherlands!
While looking around the new JouleFuels.com, I came across several new pictures of the camera shy production plant out in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
I can’t even count the amount of time I spent refreshing Google Maps when I first heard about this plant being built. Now, here it is, no blur or anything!
Are you as Geek-ed up as I am about those pictures? Probably not, but if you have seen my previous work, you know I am uber-Geek when it comes Joule Unlimited, ProNutria, and many other fringe science projects (More on that in the coming posts).
I often ask myself, am I holding back some of the more technical details when I tell anyone who will listen about this technology. I mean, it is really hard to visualize something this odd. Well, Joule Fuels has a few more nuggets of awesome to share with us.
Now, I know this looks different from the old Solar Panel setup, but this design is a lot more efficient and has a lot less materials required to build, making large economies of scale a lot easier to obtain than the initial solid frame structures still found on Joule Unlimited’s site.
One thing that has always bugged me, is the amount of stealth some of these companies run when first starting. Well, Joule Fuels has one more fun nugget.
This was an even sweeter piece of information than the pictures of the plant. A freaking path to market page! April 15th, when I discovered all of this, could potentially be a mini Christmas for me from now on. I didn’t realize it at first, but I was in a Joule Unlimited dry spell. I found myself watching David Berry’s SolveForX Video over and over again. I checked rumor sites, websites, and comments on past articles to see if there was a nugget of something new (which actually lead me to the successful Google Maps search for the plant). But none of that compares to getting all of this new information and pictures!
I better stop for now. I will end it the way all my entries are, with a Writing Prompt!
PROMPT – Create a job/industry servicing the rapid expansion of building this technology. Your character will be brand new to this industry, bearing witness to some of the potential growing pains of an entirely new way of producing fuel from what humanity used to call waste.
PS – Just to make sure I don’t get in trouble for this, I am not associated with Joule Unlimited or Joule Fuels in any way, even though I would love to be. The views and opinions in this post are my own crazy fanboy thoughts. All pictures can be sourced by the links provided. I hope you enjoy this post, much more like it will be coming down the road.