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Powerful. High Performance. And now: Patented!

Many of you have been following our progress for years, as we’ve worked to advance the development of gasification, and that makes us all the more thrilled to share with you some important news related our Power Pallet.

Take a look at this photo of our CEO JIm Mason:


He’s holding US Patent 8764857 B2, issued earlier this summer. The US Patent Office, after an exhaustive review, issued this patent for our core design and operational relationships. This affirms that APL’s innovative design and component interaction truly is groundbreaking, which is remarkable if you consider the science of gasification is over 150 years old.

You may wonder if this means we’re getting away from our open-source, kit-based roots. Not at all. We still strongly support experimentation and innovation in this area, and continue to publish free plans for download on our website of some early designs. ( in fact you can see a recent post about a team that built a working unit directly from our plans here.) And we still maintain our vast online Wiki, host regular Open Houses and Workshops, where we share intimate details of our latest work.

But this patent, along with the other seven we have around the world ( and more in the pipeline), affirms our thought leadership in this space and allows us to continue to invest and grow, while protecting our work from innapropriate use.

The Power Pallet from APL is a unique product, offering on-demand, affordable, renewable energy in a compact package.  That’s captured neatly in this recent image, highlighting how biomass gasification can deliver all of the upside, and none of the downside, of both diesel and solar power:

best of both

Receiving this patent reflects what we have accomplished, and the illuminates the potential innovations in front of us. We’re honored to have been recognized in this way, and look forward to creating even more innovation, on the way to universal, affordable, renewable energy access.


If it’s Monday, this must be Monterey…


This is our globetrotting service super hero Richard Scott (r) on a recent Monday in Monterey, Mexico, with another happy customer in another hot climate. He then went to the Philippines.  Next up: Guatamala, Sri Lanka, and beyond. Keep up with him and all the news from APL on our Facebook page.

Come See Us Next Friday, September 12
Monthly Open House@APL Berkeley

invite to open house

It’s time for our monthly open house. Come walk around our factory, have some hot food and cold drinks while seeing the latest innovations and asking your questions directly to our experts.

Congratulations and concern regarding our projects and partners in Liberia

BWI REC dedication in June

Thanks to everyone who has written in with congratulations on our recent project dedication in Liberia, along with concern about our staff and partners there. 

We are monitoring the situation closely and carefully. We are in daily contact with our team members there, and are doing all we can to support their safety and wellbeing, and know you join us in sending best wishes for a speedy control of this terrible Ebola outbreak.

3 Responses

  1. Could you elaborate on what you’d consider ‘inappropriate use’ and what you need to ‘protect your work’ from?

    Either you misunderstand the concept of open source, or I do..

    1. Sam- for many years our work was completely open source, and we still share a great deal. However, some of our recent work we felt the need to protect, so that we might be able to ensure someone won’t copy it wholesale and make knockoffs. So we’re trying to strike a balance between fostering a dialogue and exchange of ideas, while ensuring we can remain a viable business, with protected IP. I hope that clears things up.

  2. Hi Tom

    I already understood that completely.

    The whole principle of open source is that people can copy it and make knockoffs. They may innovate, iterate.

    You understand this, I understand this.

    At least be honest; the one significant problem with the opensource model is that it reduces your ability to monetise a product.

    You see the opportunity to make some cash, you are abandoning the opensource model in pursuit of this.

    I’m not actually as critical of this as I seem, you have given a lot to the open hardware movement. If you now want to make cash instead I’m fine with that, just be honest about it.

    I’d hope that the project can ‘fork’ a new community can form around the latest version of your opensource gasifier, they can innovate, iterate and move the opensource gasifier forward in a new direction.

    It will be easier than it was a few years ago because of your genuine contribution to the development of an opensource gasifier.

    Thank you for that contribution, and good luck in your new role as a commercial operation.

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