Joule's horizontal bioreactors in Hobbs, New Mexico
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Because the company’s process is efficient, it believes it can offer large volumes of renewable fuels at competitive costs. Once it produces full-scale commercialization, it expects to make 25,000 gallons of Sunflow-E, its ethanol product, and 15,000 gallons of Sunflow D, its diesel fuel, per acre of the production plant each year. That works out to be as little as $1.28 per gallon and $50 a barrel, respectively. This price structure excludes subsidies for producing alternative fuels.
One of the more attractive aspects of their process is it could use waste carbon dioxide from other factories, such as coal-fired energy plants, which would be Joule’s partner in supplying a necessary ingredient to make the fuels, according to Dan E. Robertson, who is Joule’s senior vice president and its lead scientist.
In fact, the company’s new plant in New Mexico is very close to a power plant, and Joule is discussions with them about becoming partners to provide some of the carbon dioxide, he said.