Cambridge Startup Announces Clean Fuel Breakthrough

This article is more than 12 years old.

A fledgling company in Cambridge says it has developed a breakthrough innovation to create ethanol and other liquid fuels.

Normally, ethanol production goes like this: The sun’s energy is stored in crops and then microorganisms convert some of the energy in plants into ethanol. But Joule Biotechnologies has unveiled a whole new way. It has genetically engineered microorganisms to produce transportation fuels directly with the sun's energy.

"This has the capability of almost unlimited supply, therefore a true path to energy independence," said Chief Executive Officer Bill Sims.

The challenge for any such promising technology is to prove it can be scaled up easily to reach market viability. Sims said his company plans commercial-scale development next year.

This program aired on July 27, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Curt Nickisch Twitter Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.