It's actually quite fascinating how it all works. Currently they are only able to produce one barrel a week in their small lab, and the article says that in order to meet the demands of the USA, it would take a plant the size of Chicago.
However, if there is one level of technology that is growing beyond belief, it's downsizing of tech. Not fifty years ago a computer took up a whole floor in a building, and now you can have one far more powerful in your pocket.
If investors see the profit potential, I can see us being energy independent within thirty years.
The nice thing for the environment, however, is that this is a carbon negative energy source - meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.
Well, they've shown it can work on a small scale. The good thing is bacteria are easy to replicate. We don't need to run the country 100% on this bacterial bio-crude. We just need to supplement our own natural supplies. Agricultural waste is readily available. I would envision smaller plants around the country to minimize transportation of the "raw materials", rather than one huge plant.
I wonder if eventually this can be downsized to the point of being able to install a biofuel converter in the car?
I don't think so. You would still have to refine the crude. I think the only way it could work like that is to have bacteria that excreted 87 octane gasoline. Even then it still should only stay in controlled conditions, not in every car on the road. If that bacteria were to be released into the environment we could have gasoline all over the landscape. That would be very bad for the environment.
I often read about projects like this, and I'm happy about every one of them. I hope some will succeed. My favorite is the algae that grows on raw sewage, cleans the sewage, and then can be harvested and made into biodiesel while the remaining water is almost good enough for agricultural usage. See http://www.aquaflowgroup.com/technology.html
I hope they make it work. We could use politicians for feedstock.
2000 Ford F-350 Super Cab Pickup
4x2, 6 speed manual
Regeared to 3.08:1
4 inch suspension slam
Aero mods: "Fastback" fairing and rugged air dam and side skirts
Stock MPG: 19
Summer MPG: 27.0
Winter MPG: 24
I've got a hunch I'd like to follow up about the intestinal bacteria of slugs... set a slug trap years ago, just a jar in the ground, forgot about it, leaves, a little rain, slugs and I guess a few other insects fell in there.... by the time I remembered to look at it, there was this black mess in the bottom... smelled like brent crude.
Edit: btw, in the biogenic theories of oil formation it it's thought that anaerobic decay of marine flora and fauna at the bottom of lagoons, seas and possibly lakes, is what made oil. When you think about WHAT kind of critters were making that rotting biomass, millions of years ago, you might include simple invertebrates and molluscs, ancient sea slugs maybe and their relatives... along with rotting plant matter....
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
This is incredible. I've got lots of bugs in my computer (and getting more every day) I just have to put a tap on the side of the box and I'm good to go! I always believed that the computer age would lead to oil independence but now we have proof.