Startup Joule sought to avoid the mistakes of algae companies and took a completely different approach to making fuel. Seen here is a test bioreactor that grows a genetically engineered microorganism called cyanobacteria which produces a hydrocarbon fuel directly. The microbes, which grow in water, are only fed sunlight, nutrients, and CO2 from a power plant or other source. This idea of directly producing fuel from plants, without having to collect and process biomass into fuel, is an area pursued by the ARPA-E agency for breakthrough energy research.
March 5, 2012 3:59 AM PST
Photo by: Joule
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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