Biofuels Made From Sun and Carbon Dioxide Could Replace Fossil Fuels

July 27, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Doing away with our dependence on fossil fuels is closer to reality, due to advances in biofuel production developed by a Cambridge MA. company that uses microorganisms to create ethanol at a high yield with prices that are competitive with oil. The company believes its process could replace all fossil fuels in the transportation and farming industry.

Joule Biotechnologies’ unique biofuel process relies on tiny microorganisms to do all the work. The company modified specially selected organisms that thrive in transparent photobioreactors. The organisms use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into ethanol or hydrocarbon fuels. The biofuel is then collected using simple chemical-separation technologies.

The company’s microorganisms are fed concentrated carbon dioxide, which can easily be obtained from power plants. The process outperforms other methods, such as corn or algae based biofuels that yield smaller amounts of fuel per acre. Joule Biotechnologies’ microorganism process yields an astounding 20,000 gallons of biofuel per acre per year.

With its high yields, the process could supply transportation fuel for the entire country from an area the size of the Texas panhandle. The company plans to build a pilot plant in the southwestern U.S. early next year, with commercial production planned by the end of 2010.

Joule Biotechnologies is in the process of securing additional financing for its promising solution to our dependence on fossil fuels.

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