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Old 06-16-2008, 07:50 AM   #1
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Renewable Petrolium discovered!

Genetic modification of bacteria has produced a strain that consumes agricultural waste and excretes crude oil.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...le4133668.ece?

I guess the world won't run out of oil...


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.



This is big...


Very big.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:30 AM   #3
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RE: Downsizing,
I wonder if eventually this can be downsized to the point of being able to install a biofuel converter in the car?
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRW View Post
RE: Downsizing,
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.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:14 AM   #5
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Is it me or does this sound like the makings of a futuristic Jurassic park?
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:17 AM   #6
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:15 PM   #7
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Mr. Fusion FTW!!!

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
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:59 PM   #8
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I hope they make it work. We could use politicians for feedstock.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:43 PM   #9
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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....
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:08 PM   #10
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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.
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