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Daniel Zimmermann
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http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100914006037/en

Joule Unlimited, Inc., pioneer of Liquid Fuel from the Sun™, today announced the issuance of a U.S. patent covering its breakthrough conversion of sunlight and waste carbon dioxide (CO2) directly into liquid hydrocarbons that are fungible with conventional diesel fuel. Unlike biofuel processes that require costly intermediates such as sugar, algal or agricultural biomass, Joule is the first to achieve and patent a direct, single-step, continuous process for the production of hydrocarbon fuels requiring no raw material feedstocks – setting the stage for fossil fuel replacement at unprecedented efficiencies and costs as low as $30 per barrel equivalent


 
Len Ovens
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I wish it said more.... my first thought was to check the date (for April 1). It is very hard to tell from the article if there is a working model/lab product or whatever. Have to wait and see. If it was me.... I might produce it and call it a "petroleum" product and charge accordingly.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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interesting.  curious what exactly the inputs are.  Does waste CO2 mean a factory chimney?  
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Former Clinton Chief of Staff is on their board... whatever they are doing, they have some heavy-hitters. 

As for the mysterious inputs, maybe soylent green is people! 


 
Len Ovens
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yukkuri_kame wrote:
Former Clinton Chief of Staff is on their board... whatever they are doing, they have some heavy-hitters. 

As for the mysterious inputs, maybe soylent green is people! 





Looks like the re-engineer algae thing.... get it to poop out what you want. I would imagine at some point, some of it makes it outside and becomes invasive. They have a name and a patent.... do they have a product? Also, has anyone done the math? how many acres would it take to replace todays world fuel usage? They don't say what the output/day/acre is...
 
ronie dee
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Len wrote:
Looks like the re-engineer algae thing.... get it to poop out what you want. I would imagine at some point, some of it makes it outside and becomes invasive. They have a name and a patent.... do they have a product? Also, has anyone done the math? how many acres would it take to replace todays world fuel usage? They don't say what the output/day/acre is...


They did say that the alcohol output was 10,000 gallons per acre. I am thinking that means usage of 1 acre of corn. (Or does that mean 1 acre of solar panels?

They didn't say too much about what goes into the diesel just genetically modified organisms, CO2, water and sunlight.  If the GMO's are self replicating, I hope they stay contained.

Notice that the entire company is privately owned. SO the $30 per barrel could easily become higher at whim.

 
Len Ovens
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ronie wrote:
They did say that the alcohol output was 10,000 gallons per acre. I am thinking that means usage of 1 acre of corn. (Or does that mean 1 acre of solar panels?

I wasn't able to get to the company website, it kept resetting. 10,000 gal. /acre per day?... year? They would be acres of "solar converters". Think thin fish tanks in the sun. At least they say no biostuff input.


They didn't say too much about what goes into the diesel just genetically modified organisms, CO2, water and sunlight.  If the GMO's are self replicating, I hope they stay contained.

Not a chance. sooner or later (probably sooner... before development is finished would be my guess) some of it will get out. Probably already has.


Notice that the entire company is privately owned. SO the $30 per barrel could easily become higher at whim.


They are betting people will be soooo happy to have an oil replacer, they will forgive anything. They are probably right.... nature may not be so forgiving though.

Note: "people" = large herd of sheep.... not the goats who do permaculture 
 
ronie dee
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I was going from memory - I read it the day it was posted. I didn't have a problem viewing the joule site.

I was thinking at the time that it meant 10,000 gals of alcohol from an acre of corn...so that would be per year, but i'm not really sure... I doubt they are giving out enough info so that a person could easily duplicate their process.

If their claim of $30 per barrel is even close, they have something that will make more money than Microsoft.

I hope the environment can take little petrol manufacturing organisms.
 
Len Ovens
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ronie wrote:
I was thinking at the time that it meant 10,000 gals of alcohol from an acre of corn...so that would be per year, but i'm not really sure... I doubt they are giving out enough info so that a person could easily duplicate their process.



I got to the web page this time. production they state:

Free of the land and resource constraints that hinder biofuels, Joule will directly target fossil fuel replacement with unprecedented volumes of renewable diesel, at a fraction of the land use incurred by current methods. At full-scale production the company projects delivery of up to 15,000 gallons of diesel per acre annually, at costs as low as $30 per barrel equivalent.


So per year is correct.

They do have to give enough info to attract investors though. Many who can afford to consult with experts before they sign the cheque. That is what the patent is for. That said, I am sure that someone with enough money could twitch it  just right to get around the patent and scoop them.

They say, (and are correct) that farmland doesn't have to be used.... The problem is that farmland doesn't have to be used for industrial parks... or cities, but it is none the less. Why would a company locate their oil production plant a long way from their market with the added cost of transport if they can buy land closer to the market? The market is the city... most cities were started as a hub for marketing farm goods and so are in the middle of some of the best farmland around. There are two ways of getting CO2, use whatever is in the air (this works well with placing on none farmland), place panels close to the CO2 source such as near industrial parks, most of which are surrounded by farms. Moving CO2 is not easy, moving diesel is.

I find it interesting that they say nothing about the production of O2 or the use of water (the hydrogen has to come from somewhere). This part is basic chemistry... CO2 + 2H2O = CH4 + 2O2
A lot of water! They were talking diesel... around 10 carbons (9 to 12) so C10H22. Each molecule requires 10 CO2 and 11 H2O... pretty close to 50/50. It looks like we need about 1.2 gallons of water for each gallon of diesel fuel. Plus evaporation, plus whatever the organisms need to be comfortable, plus whatever amount is needed to keep these little guys from cooking. minimum 20000 gallons of water per acre per year... probably more. What does an acre of corn take per year in water? I don't know. What does the waste water look like?

This company is not talking about making fuel, but selling the equipment and licensing to whoever. From small scale units to power a farm to multi-multi companies to sell at the pump. I bet the small ones will be very hard to get. Anyway, this company will not be on the hook for using up farmland, it will be their customers. The same companies who remove mountain tops and spill oil in the gulf.
 
ronie dee
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Len wrote:
I find it interesting that they say nothing about the production of O2 or the use of water (the hydrogen has to come from somewhere). This part is basic chemistry... CO2 + 2H2O = CH4 + 2O2


So it seems that what they have genetically engineered is hyped up chloroplasts that are rapidly converting sunlight into hydrocarbon. I bet you're right about it being algae.

Maybe they are saving the release of the info, about the benefits of removing waste CO2 (at the same time that they are producing O2), for a time when someone points out that those little escaped genetically mfgd organisms are producing petrol in ponds and puddles. (And making some PDU waste water.)

Len wrote:
What does the waste water look like?


PDU (Purty Durn Ugly).

Maybe they will engineer some animal organisms to eat the waste and produce the CO2.
 
Abe Connally
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where do the nutrients come from?  Nothing lives on water and sunlight alone, even algae or franken-bacteria.

I don't don't the potential, I doubt the practicality.
 
ronie dee
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Although they didn't mention what the nutrient soup is, they did say it wasn't fresh water. So i guess it is pond water that they will add some nutrients to. They did say that they didn't need sugar to make alcohol, like regular alcohol production requires.
 
Len Ovens
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velacreations wrote:
where do the nutrients come from?  Nothing lives on water and sunlight alone, even algae or franken-bacteria.

I don't don't the potential, I doubt the practicality.


Same inputs as farming.... They say that farmland is not needed, but really most farmland is dead and uses the same inputs. I don't see it "replacing" oil at todays rate of use. It is not really no processing either as the fuel has to be separated from the sludge, etc. Less than ethanol (which they use in any of their comparisons) How does it compare to rapeseed?

Just found this on journeytoforever.org:

As of end-2010, there is no such thing as biodiesel from algae apart from a few laboratory samples. There are some hopeful signs, but technical obstacles remain, pilot projects are not yet feasible for production purposes, and the claims made for high yields have never been demonstrated and remain theoretical.


This from people who really want it to work....
 
                        
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velacreations wrote:
where do the nutrients come from?  Nothing lives on water and sunlight alone, even algae or franken-bacteria.



Oh, you know... the occasional transient, a couple of street people now and then, and there's always those gung-ho types that dream of really putting themselves into a project...  You know -- the usual.

Feed me, Seymour!
 
Abe Connally
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Oh, you know... the occasional transient, a couple of street people now and then, and there's always those gung-ho types that dream of really putting themselves into a project...  You know -- the usual.

Feed me, Seymour!


Now, you're talking!  That's a very renewable resource!
 
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