Yesterday Joule announced a strategic partnership with Audi AG to accelerate the commercialization of its sustainable transportation fuels, Sunflow-E and Sunflow-D, for the global ethanol and diesel markets respectively.
Derived directly from sunlight and waste carbon dioxide (CO2), these fuels align perfectly with Audi’s vision for carbon-neutral mobility, and can ultimately achieve the stable costs and scale required for global adoption without depleting vital arable land or crops.
Audi selected Joule as its exclusive partner in the development of biologically-derived diesel and ethanol – the result of extensive evaluations of Joule’s proprietary technology and commercial plans.
The relationship will help spur production of Joule Sunflow-E and Sunflow-D, including fuel testing and validation, lifecycle analysis and support for Joule’s SunSprings demonstration facility located in Hobbs, New Mexico, which began operations this month.
Joule will also benefit from Audi’s considerable expertise and global reach as well as from the strength of its brand. In turn, Audi will have a first mover advantage as Joule’s exclusive partner in the automotive sector.
For Audi, the agreement fits with its stated objective to become a carbon-neutral personal transportation provider for generations to come. In addition to this pioneering initiative with Joule, the Audi carbon-neutral mobility strategy is exploring a range of innovations offering the potential to reduce the impact of premium mobility, including developments in manufacturing and recycling vehicles at the end of their lifecycle.
“We are very pleased to announce this strategic partnership with Joule, which offers genuine potential for CO2-neutral mobility,” said Reiner Mangold, head of environmental product at AUDI AG. “Joule and the fuels it is developing can ultimately enable sustainable mobility, as its highly-efficient process consumes waste CO2 emissions, avoids depletion of natural resources and doesn’t require agricultural feedstock or arable land. It is the ideal sustainable fuel platform for Audi to support.”
Unlike the costly, multi-step production of biofuels from agricultural feedstocks, Joule’s Helioculture platform directly and continuously converts sunlight and waste CO2 into infrastructure-ready fuels, including ethanol and hydrocarbons that serve as the essential chemical building blocks for diesel.
The company’s SolarConverter system manages the process with productivities that are, according to Joule, expected to be up to 100 times greater than those of biomass-dependent methods, and can readily scale in modular increments to meet large-scale output demands.