Genetically altered bug excriment produces $50 barrell oil

WOW!

I suppose we all knew this day was coming.

Silicon Valley company LS9 is using bugs eating agricultural waste and turning it into renewable Oil 2.0 in a process that is carbon negative, because the carbon it emits will be less than the carbon of the raw materials for which it was made. LS9 hopes to have a demonstration-scale plant ready by 2010.

From the Times Online:

For fermentation to take place you need raw material, or feedstock, as it is known in the biofuels industry. Anything will do as long as it can be broken down into sugars, with the byproduct ideally burnt to produce electricity to run the plant.

The company is not interested in using corn as feedstock, given the much-publicised problems created by using food crops for fuel, such as the tortilla inflation that recently caused food riots in Mexico City. Instead, different types of agricultural waste will be used according to whatever makes sense for the local climate and economy: wheat straw in California, for example, or woodchips in the South.

Using genetically modified bugs for fermentation is essentially the same as using natural bacteria to produce ethanol, although the energy-intensive final process of distillation is virtually eliminated because the bugs excrete a substance that is almost pump-ready.

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4 Responses to “Genetically altered bug excriment produces $50 barrell oil”

  1. The Eclectic Cleric Says:

    Some archeological anthropologists believe that the discovery of fermentation was responsible for the rise of civilization in the Ancient Near East in the first place; so perhaps there’s a certain symmetry that we should look to this same “technology” in our attempts to save an industrial civilization intoxicated by fossil fuels.

    Me…well, some days I’d just as soon sit around on the front porch drinking beer….

  2. Aaron Sawyer Says:

    :>

  3. BOB Says:

    I have read critism of the bug-oil bacteria as being of possible danger to humans and I think we ought to consider making bug oil out of the idiots that has prevented the refineries and powerplants from being built. This has been instrumental in putting us at a disadvantage to the very people that has vowed to destroy us. If this can be developed and free us from foreign oil, maybe this will dry up the source of funding for the radical arabs and other muslims and they can go back to the 11th century, drink their oil, eat sand, and stop terrorism around the world. Our troops then can maybe come home.

  4. Ted Burrett Says:

    After reading through this article, I just feel that I need more information on the topic. Can you share some more resources ?

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