Skip to comments.Superhero Oil-burping Algae Will Save The World
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 ...
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.
What happens if this “tweaked” alge gets loose in the enviroment. Would we end up with an oily sludge all over the world?
This claim makes the whole piece suspect.
Plenty on this previously on FR:
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.
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