06.17.08

petrolbug.jpg

I stumbled upon this today and was floored. Granted, I think what we should be doing is looking for alternatives to petroleum because of it’s dire effects on the internet. That said, this was still absolutely fascinating and impossible to ignore.

LS9 has genetically altered tiny single cell bugs to excrete a renewable form of crude oil from the consumption of  agricultural waste. The excreted, ‘Oil 2.0′ will not only be renewable but carbon negative. This means that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.

The resultant renewable form of crude oil could then be refined into other products, such as petroleum or jet fuel. Regular crude oil is only a few molecular stages removed from the fatty acids normally excreted by yeast or E. coli during fermentation. So it didn’t take much DNA fiddling from LS9 to achieve the desired result. The best part is that the energy-intensive process of distillation is almost eliminated because the bugs excrete a substance that is close to pump-ready.

LS9′s plan is to have demo-plant operational by 2010 and construction of a commercial-scale facility set to being in 2011.

You can read more about this amazing development here.

Discovered via Joyengine.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,