Joule CEO William J. Sims steps aside

This photo, taken when John Kerry was a US Senator from Massachusetts, was taken from Joule’s website. Kerry is on the right.
This photo, taken when John Kerry was a US Senator from Massachusetts, was taken from Joule’s website. Kerry is on the right.

Joule Unlimited Technologies Inc., a Bedford company focused on commercializing sustainable, carbon-neutral fuels, said that chief executive William J. Sims is stepping aside and that company cofounder and chairman Noubar Afeyan is assuming the role of interim-CEO.

Sims will remain a member of the company’s board, the company said in a press release. Meanwhile, Paul Snaith, who joined the company in 2012, will be promoted to president and chief operating officer.

According to Afeyan, Joule is in the process of transitioning from late-stage development to the global production of renewable fuels and chemicals. As a result, Sims added that this makes it “an ideal time to hand over the day-to-day leadership” of the company.

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In a statement, Afeyan said, “As the company enters a new phase of demonstration and deployment bolstered by $50 million in newly committed capital, I look forward to working closely with Paul Snaith as we commence Joule’s transition from late-stage development to global production of renewable fuels and chemicals.”

On its website, Joule says it uses a “Helioculture platform” to produce fuels directly and continuously from sunlight and waste CO2. This process does not require costly raw materials, pretreatment, and downstream processing. Such is not the case with fuels produced from agricultural or algal biomass, Joule claims.

Last September, Joule announced that it had formed a partnership with automaker Audi AG that includes an undisclosed investment in a Joule demonstration plant in New Mexico. Under the partnership, Audi will help Joule commercialize Sunflow E and Sunflow D, transportation fuels for the ethanol and diesel markets.

At that time, Joule said it had raised more than $110 million in funding.