Joule has announced the issuance of a patent on the direct, continuous production of hydrocarbon fuels from engineered cyanobacteria.

Joule has announced the issuance of a patent on the direct, continuous production of hydrocarbon fuels from engineered cyanobacteria.

J dropcapoule has announced the issuance of a patent on the direct, continuous production of hydrocarbon fuels – extending its ability to target the highest-value molecules of the petroleum distillation process and generate them on demand from sunlight and CO2.

U.S. Patent #9,034,629, issued on May 19, 2015 covers both the cyanobacterium and the process for directly converting CO2 into medium-chain alkanes, which are the molecular basis of diesel, jet fuel and gasoline.

This latest issuance complements Joule’s existing patents on the production of long-chain alkanes, ethanol and multiple chemicals, protecting the company’s capability to produce a full breadth of drop-in products without biomass feedstocks or complex refining.

Serge Tchuruk, President and CEO, explains how Joule's SolarConverter system supports a continuous production process, from photon capture and CO2 mixing to fuel production and initial separation – all occurring inside the closed system. Photo courtesy of Bloomberg

Serge Tchuruk, President and CEO, explains how Joule’s SolarConverter system supports a continuous production process, from photon capture and CO2 mixing to fuel production and initial separation – all occurring inside the closed system. Photo courtesy of Bloomberg

“We believe that we can deliver a truly carbon-neutral solution for the mobility sector, and our fast-growing intellectual property portfolio is a reflection of the many innovations we have achieved to make this possible,” said Serge Tchuruk, President and CEO of Joule.

“Our process can capture and recycle CO2, and tailor the output to the most widely used transportation fuels on the market today,” said Mr. Tchuruk. “This technology will become increasingly attractive as governments and companies around the world set carbon reduction goals heading into COP 21 this December.”

Joule’s solar process uses engineered cyanobacteria as catalysts to directly produce and secrete targeted fuel molecules in a continuous, single-step conversion process. The process requires no use of biomass feedstocks or agricultural land. Its main inputs of sunlight, waste CO2 and brackish or seawater make the process suited for wide-ranging geographies.