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Superhero Oil-burping Algae Will Save The World
www.theregister ^ | 22nd November 2011 | Andrew Orlowski

Posted on 11/22/2011 7:37:59 PM PST by Razzz42

No more war, no more tree-hugging hippies lecturing you

There are (at least) around 60 startups hoping to produce oil and diesel biologically, with accelerated fermentation or photosynthesis techniques to produce an end product that is 100 per cent compatible with the existing infrastructure. Some, for example, tweak the algae to make them do photosynthesis anything from 40 to 100 times more efficiently. LS9 received $30m in funding and has a one-step process to convert sugar to create renewable petrol. It expects production within five years. If oil prices remain high, say over $40 or $50 a barrel, then it's viable.

Craig Venter is proposing an even more radical way of creating biofuels. He's genetically modifying algae to take CO2 and convert it to renewable, compatible fuels. The algae can't survive in normal conditions, but need around 20 times the concentrations of the trace gas to start work. The idea is that CO2 will be pumped out from power stations directly into his plants

(Excerpt) Read more at theregister.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Science
KEYWORDS: algae; co2; opec; synthetic

1 posted on 11/22/2011 7:38:07 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: Razzz42

“Venter’s renewable oil kills two birds with one stone: ....”

And that bird killing will be the end of the story, once the envrionmentalists team up with PETA to oppose the product.


2 posted on 11/22/2011 7:42:35 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Razzz42

Maybe it’s doable, and maybe not. But off the top of my head, I’d be a bit worried about lab-created algae that is 100% more efficient than natural algae. What happens if it gets loose on all our lakes and ponds?


3 posted on 11/22/2011 7:49:53 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius.2)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

...Well, if killing pigeons, they too can be converted to synthetic fuel.


4 posted on 11/22/2011 7:50:01 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: Cicero

Sorry. A hundred TIMES. That’s a lot more than 100%.


5 posted on 11/22/2011 7:50:45 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius.2)
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To: Cicero

Algae can’t work efficiently, in this case, unless it is heavily doped with CO2.


6 posted on 11/22/2011 7:52:51 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: ApplegateRanch; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Rurudyne; steelyourfaith; Tolerance Sucks Rocks; xcamel; ...

No it won’t. Next!


7 posted on 11/22/2011 7:55:19 PM PST by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Razzz42
Of all the alternative energy ideas, this is the one that has potential viability without subsidies. Biodiesel has hurt my wife's business because one of the things she purchases is tropical oils. Several years ago, I looked into why prices were jumping up, and biodiesel was a major factor. I did some digging into how biodiesel is made, and I talked to the owner of a biodiesel company and asked him about the algae research. He thought it had major potential, and I also found that United Airlines (I believe) was sinking a lot of money into the research.

Environmentalists hate this fuel because it "causes global warming," so I'm inclined to like anything they hate. Still, we'll never know the true viability until it can compete with no government subsidy.

8 posted on 11/22/2011 7:58:26 PM PST by ElectronVolt
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To: Razzz42

And if it ever meets the oil-eating algae, we may get buried in them...


9 posted on 11/22/2011 8:02:49 PM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL WASHINGTON! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

And if it ever meets the oil-eating algae, we may get buried in them...


Can’t win, huh?


10 posted on 11/22/2011 8:12:02 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: All

Capitalism....gotta love it.


11 posted on 11/22/2011 8:18:28 PM PST by Kolath
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To: Razzz42

If ventor is figuring that his strains won’t be viable for a decade—then he is going to be completely shut out by his friend Church who is currently advisor to a company called joule that is building a 1000 acre farm in New Mexico that is expected to go into production late next year. They say their initial trials produced oil for 1.20 a gallon. They expect to their volume production to do the job for .6@gallon


12 posted on 11/22/2011 8:20:29 PM PST by ckilmer (Phi)
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To: Cicero

13 posted on 11/22/2011 8:26:04 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: ckilmer

‘joule’ must be a private company, can’t find it listed in the stock markets so I could track it.


14 posted on 11/22/2011 8:44:06 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: SunkenCiv; SolitaryMan; golux; SteamShovel; Bockscar; Thunder90; rdl6989; marvlus; ...
Thanx for the ping SunkenCiv !

 


Beam me to Planet Gore !

15 posted on 11/22/2011 8:54:05 PM PST by steelyourfaith (If it's "green" ... it's crap !!!)
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To: Razzz42

yeah its private. venture capital. not listed. you can look it up on google by typing in “joule unlimited”


16 posted on 11/22/2011 8:55:34 PM PST by ckilmer (Phi)
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To: Razzz42

yeah its private. venture capital. not listed. you can look it up on google by typing in “joule unlimited”


17 posted on 11/22/2011 8:55:43 PM PST by ckilmer (Phi)
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To: MrEdd
Hard to beat mother nature and a good lens.
18 posted on 11/22/2011 9:02:27 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: Razzz42

Theoretically it makes sense (on the sense of “it doesn’t make no sense”). But this article quotes no papers and the single name (Elbert Branscomb) is from the Department of Energy. I’ll be skeptic about what do they really have.


19 posted on 11/22/2011 9:03:11 PM PST by Moose Burger
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To: Razzz42

Hm, sorry, I kind of missed Craig Venter.


20 posted on 11/22/2011 9:07:17 PM PST by Moose Burger
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To: Razzz42

Better links: http://www.jcvi.org/cms/research/groups/synthetic-biology-bioenergy/


21 posted on 11/22/2011 9:11:53 PM PST by Moose Burger
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To: Moose Burger

It’s a two page writeup at the link.
Author writes ‘...So we’re looking at major consequences for foreign policy and defence policy. The palette of nations we feel comfortable with changes; and the nature of what we feel we have to defend changes, too. Anyone who has made the call for “energy independence” will be thrilled, since two-thirds of the energy we use comes from oil and gas. Shale gas, too, is a local resource for many countries, and is already changing geopolitical dynamics.

Secondly, it has major consequences for business – and not just in nations who today bank on excavated hydrocarbons. The 10 largest companies in the world are all oil companies – and all are privately owned.

Thirdly, it will bring about a fairly profound change in the political debate. Synthetic hydrocarbons are not some magic bullet that suddenly catapults society into a future of boundless prosperity, although they don’t half help. Everything has costs and consequences, and the sheer value of oil doesn’t change. In the short term, oil companies will be faced with large cleanup costs from conventional extraction...’

Privately owned companies don’t and don’t have to report to the public and the smarter ones don’t file for patents so to be sure to keep their secrets a secret. Even though algae converting stuff to synthetic fuels in no secret, the process is.

There could be an overnight sensation.


22 posted on 11/22/2011 9:16:38 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

What happens if this “tweaked” alge gets loose in the enviroment. Would we end up with an oily sludge all over the world?


23 posted on 11/22/2011 11:03:43 PM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again.")
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To: Razzz42
If oil prices remain high, say over $40 or $50 a barrel, then it's viable.

This claim makes the whole piece suspect.

24 posted on 11/23/2011 5:02:39 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Razzz42

hehe

Plenty on this previously on FR:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2660302/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2682641/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2757893/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2806994/posts


25 posted on 11/23/2011 5:09:41 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: fella
What happens if this “tweaked” alge gets loose in the enviroment. Would we end up with an oily sludge all over the world?

I've been wondering the same thing. If it goes commercial, it would seem this will happen. It is not if, but when.

I think we are better off drilling for natural oil and leaving the algae natural.

26 posted on 11/23/2011 11:04:21 AM PST by SteamShovel (Smart Grid is Stupid)
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