Biofuel Made from Waste CO2 and Sunlight

Joule has developed a technology that transforms waste CO2 into biofuel. The process is activated by pumping a liquid mixture of engineered bacteria and non-potable water into modular circulation units of transparent pipes. When the bacteria reaches the right concentration for fuel production, waste CO2 is pumped into the circulation units from an industrial emitter, keeping the bacteria in motion and maximizing their exposure to sunlight. This drives the photosynthesis-like process to produce the final fuel. The process requires no corn, sugar or fresh water.


As climate change was brought to the forefront with COP21, it has become increasingly clear that the need for this type of scalable and diversified solution is greater than ever.

Bryan BaynesCEO, Joule Unlimited

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has registered Joule’s Sunflow-E ethanol for commercial use in gasoline blends, providing carbon-neutral fuel that does not require infrastructure changes. Joule has raised more than $200 million in funding to date, which it has used to successfully pilot-test the technology over more than two years. The company is working hard to prepare the innovative biofuel for commercial use.

Why you should care

Globally, the last few years have been some of the warmest on record. To prevent further temperature increases, global CO2 emissions must be drastically reduced. By using waste CO2 as a raw material for biofuel production, Joule’s technology can result in reduced CO2 emissions and achieve scalability without the use of additional agricultural land, fresh water or crops.

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