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Building Microbial Fuel Factories 1

Joule Unlimited, a startup based in Cambridge, MA, is genetically altering photosynthetic micro organisms so that over their lifetime, they devote only 5 percent of the solar energy they absorb to growing and staying alive. 

The rest goes to secreting a steady supply of diesel fuel.
 The company, which is building a pilot plant in Leander, TX, says its process will generate 15 to 25 times as much fuel per acre as technology for making fuels from cellulosic biomass, but that it will take several years to demonstrate at a large scale.

 Synthetic Genomics, with funding from ExxonMobil that could exceed $300 million, is taking a similar approach, working with algae.


Richard Spyros


Fri September 03 2010 11:26:12 PM by Richard joule unlimited  |  photosynthetic micro organisms 1751 views

Comments - 1

  • Narsi wrote:
    Sat September 04 2010 10:52:41 AM

    Can someone tell me how feasible what these folks are working on? I get the overall idea - do away with the biomass middleman and use microbes instead to convert water and sunlight and co2 to hydrocarbn fuels - but what are the hidden costs we do not know?

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