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July 26, 2009 Americas Power
Solar farming:

A photobioreactor houses photosynthetic microorganisms that use the energy in sunlight to make fuel and other chemicals from carbon dioxide and water. Credit: Joule Biotechnologies

Joule unveiled its revolutionary Helioculture system for producing SolarFuel™ energy products that will dramatically redefine how the world’s energy needs are met.

A startup based in Cambridge, MA--Joule Biotechnologies--today revealed details of a process that it says can make 20,000 gallons of biofuel per acre per year. If this yield proves realistic, it could make it practical to replace all fossil fuels used for transportation with biofuels. The company also claims that the fuel can be sold for prices competitive with fossil fuels.

Joule Biotechnologies grows genetically engineered microorganisms in specially designed photobioreactors. The microorganisms use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into ethanol or hydrocarbon fuels (such as diesel or components of gasoline). The organisms excrete the fuel, which can then be collected using conventional chemical-separation technologies.

If the new process, which has been demonstrated in the laboratory, works as well on a large scale as Joule Biotechnologies expects, it would be a marked change for the biofuel industry.

The company plans to build a pilot-scale plant in the southwestern U.S. early next year, and it expects to produce ethanol on a commercial scale by the end of 2010. Large-scale demonstration of hydrocarbon-fuels production would follow in 2011.

So far, the company has raised "substantially less than $50 million," Sims says, from Flagship Ventures and other investors, including company employees. The firm is about to start a new round of financing to scale up the technology.

Algae-based biofuels come closest to Joule's technology, with potential yields of 2,000 to 6,000 gallons per acre; yet even so, the new process would represent an order of magnitude improvement. What's more, while algae fuels have been cost far more than fossil fuels, the company claims that the process will be competitive with crude oil at $50 a barrel.

The modular SolarConverter design is engineered to meet demand on a global scale while requiring just a fraction of the land needed for biomass-based approaches. It can be easily customized depending on land size, CO2 availability and desired output. The functionality is proven and can readily scale from smaller operations with limited land to extensive commercial plants. Additional benefits enabled by the system include:

Multiple Product Lines—The same conversion technology and modular system used to produce SolarFuel liquid energy will also enable the production of SolarChemical™ products, several of which have already been demonstrated at laboratory scale.

Optimal Storage of Solar Power—Because Joule harnesses the sun to produce energy in the form of liquid fuel, it overcomes a major obstacle to the broad-based use of solar power, namely storage. SolarFuel liquid energy has up to 100 times the energy storage density of conventional batteries, and can be very efficiently stored and transported with no degradation of power.

Two years into development, innovative startup enables path to energy independence; Unveils proprietary production system capable of supplying unlimited quantities of renewable fuel at costs competitive with fossil fuels

Cambridge, Mass.—July 27, 2009—Joule Biotechnologies, Inc., an innovative bioengineering startup developing game-changing alternative energy solutions, today unveiled its breakthrough Helioculture™ technology—a revolutionary process that harnesses sunlight to directly convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into SolarFuel™ liquid energy. This eco-friendly, direct-to-fuel conversion requires no agricultural land or fresh water, and leverages a highly scalable system capable of producing more than 20,000 gallons of renewable ethanol or hydrocarbons per acre annually—far eclipsing productivity levels of current alternatives while rivaling the costs of fossil fuels.

"There is no question that viable, renewable fuels are vitally important, both for economic and environmental reasons. And while many novel approaches have been explored, none has been able to clear the roadblocks caused by high production costs, environmental burden and lack of real scale," said Bill Sims, president and CEO of Joule Biotechnologies. "Joule was created for the very purpose of eliminating these roadblocks with the best equation of biotechnology, engineering, scalability and pricing to finally make renewable fuel a reality—all while helping the environment by reducing global CO2 emissions."

Joule’s transformative Helioculture process leverages highly-engineered photosynthetic organisms to catalyze the conversion of sunlight and CO2 to usable transportation fuels and chemicals. The scalable SolarConverter™ system facilitates the entire process—from sunlight capture to product conversion and separation—with minimal resources and polishing operations. This represents a significant advantage over biomass-derived biofuels, including newer algae- and cellulose-based forms, which are hindered by varying obstacles: costly biomass production, numerous processing steps, substantial scale-up risk and capital costs.

The modular SolarConverter design is engineered to meet demand on a global scale while requiring just a fraction of the land needed for biomass-based approaches. It can be easily customized depending on land size, CO2 availability and desired output. The functionality is proven and can readily scale from smaller operations with limited land to extensive commercial plants. Additional benefits enabled by the system include:

Multiple Product Lines—The same conversion technology and modular system used to produce SolarFuel liquid energy will also enable the production of SolarChemical™ products, several of which have already been demonstrated at laboratory scale.
.

Optimal Storage of Solar Power—Because Joule harnesses the sun to produce energy in the form of liquid fuel, it overcomes a major obstacle to the broad-based use of solar power, namely storage. SolarFuel liquid energy has up to 100 times the energy storage density of conventional batteries, and can be very efficiently stored and transported with no degradation of power.

"Today’s leading scientists and engineers have been called upon to solve one of the greatest challenges of our time: how to take promising theories and turn them into real, impact-making strides towards energy independence," said Noubar Afeyan, founder and chairman of Joule Biotechnologies. "Joule is doing exactly that—creating an entirely novel solution that combines the best of solar energy and biofuels, while eliminating their respective weaknesses. The result is a system that can operate at very large scale and provide efficient conversion and storage of solar power without relying on fossil or agricultural products as raw materials."

Joule SolarFuel liquid energy meets today’s vehicle fuel specifications and infrastructure, and is expected to achieve widespread production at the energy equivalent of less than $50 per barrel. The company’s first product offering, SolarEthanol™ fuel, will be ready for commercial-scale development in 2010. Joule has also demonstrated proof of concept for producing hydrocarbon fuel and expects process demonstration by 2011.

About Joule Biotechnologies
Joule Biotechnologies, Inc. is tackling the global energy crisis with a game-changing, renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Its patent-pending Helioculture™ technology surpasses the limitations of other clean fuel approaches by harnessing sunlight to convert CO2 directly into SolarFuel™ liquid energy. This direct-to-fuel conversion requires no fresh water and just a fraction of the land needed for biomass-derived alternatives, avoids costly intermediaries and processing, and finally enables the scale, unlimited quantities and pricing required for energy independence. Founded in 2007 by Flagship Ventures, Joule is privately held and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Additional information is available at www.joulebio.com.

article



Energy and Union membership
1948 to 2008

More nuclear power in Russia
May 19, 2009 The Moscow Times.
Russia began building its first floating nuclear power plant on Monday...
The power plant, which is being assembled at the St. Petersburg-based Baltic Shipyard by Energoatom, a subsidiary of Rosatom, is the first of seven floating nuclear power plants that the company plans to build, Energoatom head Sergei Obozov told reporters on Monday. article

America’s Oil and
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The Facts About Oil Industry Mergers, Market Power and Fuel Prices

The oil and natural gas industry recognizes the concerns across the country over the higher energy costs American consumers and businesses have been facing this year. It is also aware of the assertion that the consolidation that has occurred in the industry over the last decade has led to higher energy prices.
This API primer attempts to address those concerns and offers the proper context in which to view both energy prices and company mergers.

Hydrogen for Canada
Sept. 3, 2008
New process extracts pure hydrogen from contaminant in unrefined oil A commercial-scale process to extract and reuse pure hydrogen from the hydrogen sulfide that naturally contaminates unrefined oil, including oil sands, is one step closer to reality thanks to a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Kingston Process Metallurgy Inc. of Kingston, Ontario. more

Nuclear Power for Galena
Galena Alaska is a small Indian village 550 miles northwest of Anchorage.
Winter temperatures can go to - 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Electric power is supplied by diesel generators.

Galena has been exploring alternate energy sources but there is not enough wind and winter days are short making solar impossible. The obvious answer was nuclear.
In 2004 Toshiba offered Galena a free nuclear reactor. Toshiba's 4S 10-megawatt, sodium-cooled fast spectrum reactor. If regulatory approval goes well, the reactor should be operational by 2010.

Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends.

"Public Information and Outreach in Galena, Alaska," Prepared by Shaw Pittman LLC., Washington, D.C.,


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