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#9663 - 06/17/08 06:43 PM GM bacteria convert waste to 'renewable petroleum'
Meq Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 861
“Ten years ago I could never have imagined I’d be doing this,” says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive, as he squints into the late afternoon Californian sun. “I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But the people I talk to – especially the ones coming out of business school – this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into.”

He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.

Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”.

Mr Pal is a senior director of LS9, one of several companies in or near Silicon Valley that have spurned traditional high-tech activities such as software and networking and embarked instead on an extraordinary race to make $140-a-barrel oil (£70) from Saudi Arabia obsolete. “All of us here – everyone in this company and in this industry, are aware of the urgency,” Mr Pal says.

What is most remarkable about what they are doing is that instead of trying to reengineer the global economy – as is required, for example, for the use of hydrogen fuel – they are trying to make a product that is interchangeable with oil. The company claims that this “Oil 2.0” will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.


Full Article Here

For more information: LS9 Homepage

This piqued my interest, as unlike other forms of biofuel:
1) The raw materials for this are provided by cheap agricultural waste products, without any need to divert resources from food crop production.
2) This process also requires considerably less energy than it takes to extract and refine crude petroleum oil.
3) The product produced is interchangeable with petroleum-based fuels. There will be no need to modify engines to run on this stuff.

Comments?


Edited by Mequa (06/19/08 07:31 PM)
Edit Reason: Better?

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#9685 - 06/18/08 09:42 PM Re: GM bacteria convert waste to 'renewable petroleum' [Re: Meq]
fakepropht Moderator Offline
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 990
Loc: Texas
After recovering from the retina burn, lol, I thought it interesting. I didn't read the full story though. I will save that for a day when I have a bit more time. However, I have just one immediate question. Just how realistic is this? Seriously, how much does an average bug poop? I can't imagine it is more than a pin head's worth. I just can't see this being very effective. How much would an airplane hangar packed with pooping bugs produce? Enough for one average vehicle to fill up? Initially, it seems like we would have to pave over half of the US and build one massive bug pooping station to get enough crude to sustain our needs. Bugs don't live very long, so you have to have a constant supply of new poopers in the wings. Sounds like the start of something good, but we need more raw material to work with. Cow poop, elephant poop, moose poop.
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#9703 - 06/19/08 07:09 PM Re: GM bacteria convert waste to 'renewable petroleum' [Re: fakepropht]
Fist Moderator Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 1453
Loc: B'mo Cautious MF
Keep in mind that 'bugs' they are talking about are bacteria. They would be grown in large tanks the same we make penicillin or bio-weapons.

What is truly interesting is man's ability to solve his own problems. More shocking still, is that this program was the result of private enterprise and the free market.
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#9708 - 06/20/08 09:29 AM Re: GM bacteria convert waste to 'renewable petroleum' [Re: Fist]
PigFeeder Offline
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Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 294
Loc: Near Montreal, QC
Could be quite useful, what with the whole gas problem everyone is experiencing and the sharp increases, this could be a definite benifit. But like was previously said, more research and work has to be done, how much will they actually produce? Definetly not enough to be dependant. Hopefully with this new discovery, they will go further and figure out what they can do with this... I guess we will see..

Good find Mequa,



~Snow~.
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Forever, Rob, The 49 PigFeeder.
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#9831 - 06/27/08 04:54 PM Re: GM bacteria convert waste to 'renewable petroleum' [Re: Meq]
-iblis- Offline
pledge


Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 77
Now if only this logic
will wash away the greed standing in its way...

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#10230 - 07/15/08 11:54 AM Re: GM bacteria convert waste to 'renewable petroleum' [Re: -iblis-]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3113
There is one disadvantage on this experiment.
To grow these bacterias it will cost months and also these bacteria need specific conditions where under they will work.

As an example: the temperature; this will costs lots of energy to give warmth to these bacterias or energy to lower the temperature. So the energycircle is not in balance.

Another biofuel who is interesting is oil from Algae.
It has many advantages, like it can grow almost everywhere even in salt water. And it also helps a bit draining the CO2 out of the air wich causes global warming. It is pure organic so there i no harm to nature. Not only does it extract CO2 from the air, only 3,5% of the total watersurface on earth is needed to give the whole world enough energy for a year.

Quite good to me if you know it can be placed in the open sea.
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