Startup company Joule Unlimited Technologies announced it received $70 million from undisclosed private and institutional investors, and the company hopes this funding will bring it closer to a breakthrough in biofuel technology.
Above: Joule bioreactors at its Texas pilot plant.
Above: Joule bioreactors at its Texas pilot plant.

The company, which was founded in 2007, 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. Though many biofuels companies have tried making cellulosic ethanol from non-food sources, none have succeeded at a commercial scale.

With this recent funding, which brings funding to $110 million to date, Joule plans to expand and operate a demonstration plant in Hobbs, N.M., to test its process at a much larger scale. The facility has the potential to grow to 1,000 acres for commercial production.

"Our goal since inception has been to enable large-scale, renewable fuel production at unprecedented costs and volumes in the near term, without the obstacles and slow pace of biofuel progress," says president and CEO William J. Sims. "On the heels of our latest funding round and technology advancement, we're in a very strong position to make it happen as planned."