Joule Partners with Audi to Accelerate Development and Commercialization of Sustainable, Carbon-Neutral Fuels

18 September 2012

Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

Joule today 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.”

“This relationship brings us one step closer to our goal of delivering Liquid Fuel from the Sun™ to vehicles everywhere. We are proud to partner with a world-class company like Audi, whose resources, reputation and commitment to quality will help boost our commercial plans,” said William J. Sims, President and CEO of Joule. “In just a few years, we have made significant strides towards offering sustainable fuel production at the costs, productivity and scale that have eluded biofuels, and with Audi as a key supporter of our demonstration facility, we expect to have global market impact in the near future and well beyond.”

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 novel SolarConverter® system manages the process with productivities that are expected to be up to 100X greater than those of biomass-dependent methods, and can readily scale in modular increments to meet large-scale output demands.


Joule is advancing a technology platform for Liquid Fuel from the Sun™, expected to eclipse the scale, productivity and cost efficiency of any known alternative to fossil fuel today. Its transformative Helioculture™ platform directly and continuously converts sunlight and waste CO2 to infrastructure-ready diesel, ethanol or commodity chemicals with no dependence on biomass feedstocks, downstream processing or precious natural resources. Joule has successfully pilot-tested its platform for over two years, initiated operations at its SunSprings™ demonstration plant, and launched a global subsidiary, Joule Fuels, to deploy fuel production sites worldwide. At full-scale commercialization, Joule expects to deliver renewable fuels and chemicals in unrivaled volumes, at highly competitive costs, with a fraction of the land required for biofuels derived from agricultural feedstocks or algal biomass. Joule is privately held and has raised over $110 million in funding to date. The company is headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts with operations in Leander, Texas; Hobbs, New Mexico; and The Hague, Netherlands.

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