Joule's production facility in Hobbs, N.M. Photo courtesy of Joule.

Joule's production facility in Hobbs, N.M. Photo courtesy of Joule.

Joule Unlimited's ethanol fuel, produced from recycled carbon dioxide, has passed a round of third-party testing, setting the stage for commercial-use certification, the biotech company announced.

Initiated by Audi, Joule’s automotive strategic partner, the test results confirm that Joule’s ethanol meets two fuel standards, one each in the U.S. and Europe. Joule has initiated efforts to use these results to obtain the government approvals needed for commercialization of its ethanol fuel, the company said.

Joule and Audi formed a partnership in 2011 to accelerate the development and commercialization of carbon-dioxide-neutral fuels. These efforts include fuel testing and validation, lifecycle analysis and support for Joule’s production facility in Hobbs, N.M., where demonstration-scale production of ethanol is taking place.

While standard ethanol production processes require the fermentation of sugars from corn, cellulose, or other biomass materials, Joule uses engineered catalysts to recycle industrial carbon-dioxide emissions directly into ethanol, avoiding the use of crops, arable land, and fresh water, according to the company.

At full-scale commercialization, Joule ultimately targets productivity of up to 25,000 gallons of ethanol per acre annually, the company added.