Attis Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: ATIS) (the “Company” or “Attis”), a diversified innovation and technology holding company announced the execution of a sponsored research and exclusive license agreement with Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (“DGIST”), to develop and commercialize processes that use sunlight to efficiently promote conversion of carbon dioxide (“CO2”) and water into hydrocarbon fuels compatible with the current energy infrastructure.
The new agreement is intended to build on the Company’s and DGIST’s prior work, including the work of Professor Su-Il In and his team at DGIST, as recently reported in Energy and Environmental Science, a journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, in an article entitled High-Rate Solar-light Photoconversion of CO2 to Fuel: Controllable Transformation from C1 to C2 Products. Professor In and his team recently demonstrated CO2 photoconversion efficiencies exceeding ten times anything previously reported, achieving sunlight-to-fuel (Joule-to-Joule) photoconversion efficiencies of up to 3.3% (quantum yield 91%). Such efficiencies are an important milestone, and demonstrate that an industrial-scale sunlight-powered CO2 to hydrocarbon fuel technology is realistic to envision.
“Many of us have watched photovoltaics evolve from the laboratory into a global industry in which solar is rapidly becoming one of the cheapest sources of energy world-wide,” said Jeffrey Cosman, Attis’s Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that a similar revolution is coming with carbon dioxide, one in which sunlight will be harnessed to cost-effectively reform carbon, oxygen and hydrogen into valuable precursors for food, fuels and energy. Professor In and his team have made an important and timely contribution to making that future a reality.”
The Company expects to collaborate with DGIST and provide the adjacent research and other resources needed to increase conversion efficiencies even further, while expanding process tolerances and capabilities. The Company’s early-stage commercialization targets include production of commercially-meaningful yields of methane for direct use and conversion into methanol, synthesis gas for conversion into Fischer-Tropsch fuels, and ethane for conversion into polyethylene and ethanol. Each target has extreme significance to the Company’s biorefinery goals, including its plans to consolidate existing renewable fuel production assets, such as first generation corn ethanol plants.
Cosman added, “About one-third of every bushel of corn fermented into ethanol ends up as a relatively pure form of CO2 exhaust. Imagine the impact on ethanol yield and profitability if we can cost-effectively convert even a fraction of that exhaust into more ethanol. We’re very excited to be working with Professor In and his team at DGIST.”