Skip to comments.Biotech Company to Patent Fuel-Secreting Bacterium
Posted on 09/15/2010 1:09:11 PM PDT by neverdem
A biotech company plans to announce Tuesday that it has won a patent on a genetically altered bacterium that converts sunlight and carbon dioxide into ingredients of diesel fuel, a step that could provide a new pathway for making ethanol or a diesel replacement that skips several cumbersome and expensive steps in existing methods.
The bacteriums product, which it secretes like sweat, is a class of hydrocarbon molecules called alkanes that are chemically indistinguishable from the ones made in oil refineries. The organism can grow in bodies of water unfit for drinking or on land that is useless for farming, according to the company, Joule Unlimited of Cambridge, Mass.
We make very clean, sulfur-free hydrocarbons that drop directly into the existing infrastructure for the production of diesel fuel, said William J. Sims, the chief executive of Joule. The object, he said, was not to be an alternative for fossil fuels, but to become a viable replacement.
Joule said it was the first company to patent an organism that secretes hydrocarbon fuel made continuously, directly from sunlight. Other companies, including Amyris Biotechnologies of Emeryville, Calif., and LS9 of San Carlos, Calif., are working on organisms that will make fuel if fed...
Alternative energy experts agree that photosynthesis is a promising avenue for biofuel research. The challenge is turning the resulting product into a fuel. Many companies are trying to develop an algae to do that job. But it requires energy to separate the algae from the water and then process the oil they make internally into a usable fuel. An organism that secretes the desired product directly avoids both problems.
In a test in Leander, Tex., Joules bacteria strain produced ethanol. Different variants can also make polymers and other high-value chemicals that are ordinarily derived from petroleum, according to Joule...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
In HTML, it's very long.
Seriously, I hope this produces oil cheaply enough to replace drilled oil, espcially Arab oil. Since it takes the carbon dioxide from the air to get the carbon for the fuel this would count as carbon neutral. The greenies should love it unless then are merely interested in controlling us rather than "saving" the earth.
“The greenies should love it unless then are merely interested in controlling us rather than “saving” the earth.”
If this new product is made by “greedy” “profit-making” private corporations, greenies are likely to oppose it in principle. The only way it would be palatable is if the federal government nationalized the industry on grounds that nobody should profit from a “necessity” like energy.
“a patent on a genetically altered bacterium ...”
No No GMO!
No No GMO!
NO!! We’re running OUT of resources. We HAVE to run out of resources. If we don’t it will ruin EVERYTHING.
The greenies should love it unless then are merely interested in controlling us rather than saving the earth.
Naaa...it’s nothing other than about taxes and control.
Is this company publicly traded?
Next comes a bacterium you can feed cellulose to (the most abundant bio-macro-molecule) and get pure burnable fuel.
This would be more than a shot across the bow to OPEC, it would be their death knell!
“Ask not for whom the biotechnology bell tolls, it tolls for thee Middle East!”
I hope it pans out, otherwise we’ll be forced to put up with a movie titled “Who killed the Bacteria car?” in a few years.
“Since it takes the carbon dioxide from the air to get the carbon for the fuel this would count as carbon neutral.”
If the greens cared about that they’d admit that fossil fuels are already “carbon neutral”. After all, if the biotic oil origin theory is correct, then all the carbon stored in fossil fuels came out of the atmosphere to begin with, and we are just putting it back when we burn it.
WOW...really sounds good.
Founded in 2007 by Flagship Venture Labs, Joule is privately held and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
What if some of these bacteria ‘escaped’ and started growing in a nasty pond in my yard, would I be able to harvest the alkanes for my own use?
Finally - we’re moving in the right direction...
The greenies are currently opposing a solar plant to be built on scrub land in California if that tells you anything.
It will happen. I am confident for it.