Joule CO2-Recycled Ethanol Meets U.S. and European Specifications

Anatomy of a Joule Plant. Image courtesy of Joule.
Anatomy of a Joule Plant. Image courtesy of Joule.

Joule, the pioneer of liquid fuels from recycled CO2, today announced the successful results from third-party testing of its ethanol fuel, setting the stage to obtain certification for commercial use. Initiated by AUDI, Joule’s strategic partner in the automotive space, the test results confirm that Joule’s ethanol meets the following standards in the U.S. and Europe, respectively:

  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D4806 – Denatured fuel ethanol for blending with gasolines for use as automotive spark-ignition engine fuel
  • German Institute for Standardization (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 commercialization of its ethanol fuel.

“We are pleased to achieve another critical step towards our planned near-term delivery of fuel-grade ethanol from recycled CO2,” said Serge Tchuruk, President and CEO of Joule. “Using waste CO2 as a feedstock, our technology has the two-fold advantage of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and producing cost-competitive, drop-in fuels. This means we have a unique opportunity to offer a solution to CO2 emitters and to fuel users, directly supporting a low carbon economy.”

“AUDI and Joule share a commitment to making carbon-neutral mobility a reality,” said Reiner Mangold, head of sustainable product development, AUDI AG. “The successful testing of ethanol produced from CO2 is another encouraging indication of this technology’s progress. We are proud to work with Joule to ultimately sustain global transportation without emitting more CO2 than is consumed.”

Joule and AUDI formed a partnership in 2011 to accelerate the development and commercialization 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 commercialization, Joule ultimately targets productivity of up to 25,000 gallons of ethanol per acre annually.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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