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Joule achieves ASTM compliance for sustainable diesel, jet fuel

By Joule Unlimited Inc. | May 16, 2014

Marking another step towards commercial readiness of CO2-neutral fuels, Joule Unlimited Inc. has announced that its Sunflow-D and Sunflow-J products meet the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials for diesel and jet fuel, respectively. Joule products achieve all accepted standards for fuel performance, and they may also improve quality of the finished fuel blends, as demonstrated by the test results.

“Today’s news marks an important milestone for our hydrocarbon fuel program,” said Dan Robertson, Chief Scientific Officer of Joule, who will discuss this and other Joule advancements at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. “Joule has uniquely engineered pathways to produce pure alkane molecules, able to ‘drop in’ to finished blends in high concentrations without chemical upgrading. In demonstrating ASTM compliance, we have affirmed the value of these CO2-derived hydrocarbon fuels and paved the way for market adoption.”

ASTM test regimes address a number of critical fuel requirements, such as performance (e.g. cetane or octane, aromaticity, viscosity, etc.), engine wear, transportability and post-combustion air quality. The C11 alkane molecule which comprises Joule Sunflow-D and Sunflow-J was tested with the following results:

- Joule Sunflow-D meets the ASTM D-975 standard for diesel in blend percentages of up to 50%.
The product achieved a high cetane number of 80, improving with increased concentrations of the Joule molecule and indicating a positive trend for combustion quality. The finished blends demonstrated reduced sulfur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), thus improving the quality of conventional diesel.

- Joule Sunflow-J meets the ASTM D-1655 standard for jet A/A1 fuel in blend percentages of up to 25%, complying with requirements for turbine performance, engine wear and air quality.

Renewable oils and fatty esters, such as biodiesel, require chemical upgrading before they can be blended with fossil fuels, and then only in low concentrations. In contrast, Joule produces alkane molecules that are inherently “blendable” with fossil fuels in high concentrations (up to 50 percent) – thus displacing more fossil-derived oil with no chemical upgrading required.