Small Cap Strategist is published by Crystal Equity Research an independent research resource on small capitalization stocks. Follow along as we discuss the most recent trends in the small-cap sector, investigate interesting companies and pan a few not-so-promising stocks.
road to energy independence and carbon emission reduction is littered with
stalled vehicles.Closed doors,
shuttered production plants and even bankruptcies have brought even the most
promising renewable fuel schemes to a halt.A red flag may about to be thrown down for Joule Unlimited, a developer of renewable
fuel from carbon dioxide (CO2).
concern arises from the most subtle of suggestions-the
lack of any substantial news from the company for over a year.Mind you there have been several press
releases from the company, but only to announce the replacement of senior
leadership.Bill Smith resigned his position
as CEO in August 2013, and eventually left the board of directors. By the first
week in February 2014, the COO Paul Snaith had pressed into service to replace
Smith.A week later a new chief
technology officer was appointed.
then Joule has been suspiciously quiet.Is
it really taking that long for these new officers to get oriented?Someone is pitter pattering about at
Joule.On April 15th “Admin” posted
an article about photobioreactor design on Joule’s blog.
own photobioreactor, the SolarConverter system, is the company’s crown
jewel.The system uses solar energy to
convert non-potable water to liquid fuels such as ethanol and other hydrocarbon
fuels.An array of solar modules are spread
across 1,000 acreas contain proprietary catalysts, micronutrients, and non-potable
water from some industrial emitter.Carbon dioxide is used to keep the catalysts stirred up and exposed to
sunlight to drive photosynthesis.The
proprietary catalysts consume the CO2 and secrete fuel molecules into the
liquid.Filters separate the fuel
molecules from the waste water.
fuels have been branded Sunflow, but have yet to be produced in commercial
quantities.A demonstration plant was
set up in Hobbs, New Mexico several years ago, but the public has heard little
about what happens in Hobbs.Indeed, the
last time Joule provided any news to the public about its progress with its
liquid fuels from photosynthesis was over three years ago.At that time Joule’s engineers claimed the
capacity to produce 15,000 gallons of diesel per acre of its photobioreactors.
public may be in the dark about Joule’s Sunflow fuels, but no doubt the company
has reported on its progress to the investors who invested more than $160
million in Joule’s development work.I
would like to know if Joule has managed to find some industrial concern with a
flow of CO2 emissions they would like to shed.It would be even more encouraging for Joule to land an off-take
agreement for its fuel.Until then it
more a matter of that red flag slow falling to the ground to signal the demise
of yet another traveler on the road of renewable fuels.
Neither the author
of the Small
Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity
Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies
mentioned herein. Joule Unlimited is included in Crystal Equity Research list
of Biofuel producers in our Beach Boys Index.