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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Is Bug Juice The New Crude?

Bug Juice
Apparently we've created critters that take their nutrients and go straight to crude oil, without the inconvenient eras of incubation this normally requires. From the article:
...The company claims that this “Oil 2.0” will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.
At the risk of being tagged a knee-jerk curmudgeon on this subject (heh), I predict a spike of interest in this before this shiny object goes the way of biofuels, for pretty much the same reasons. Sure, processing wood chips instead of corn removes the obvious stigma of food abuse, but bio is bio, with all of the attendant conservation-of-energy issues (per-annum solar, people!).

I would also like to explore where the, er, "surplus" carbon ends up in this process. Might be important...
Anything will do as long as it can be broken down into sugars, with the byproduct ideally burnt to produce electricity to run the plant.
Hmm... is this a clue?

A friend of mine emailed me this question:
Crazy, what if they get out, we end up with crude oil all over the place?
A fair question. I pointed out that the GM scientists probably took that into consideration... but then again, we've all seen Jurassic Park.

And then there's this...

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