Sure, Why Not?: Altering Bacteria To Produce "Renewable Petroleum"

June 19, 2008


First the diesel tree, and now oil bacteria. Several companies in Silicon Valley are racing to produce bacteria capable of excreting oil (black gold, Texas tea).

What is most remarkable about what they are doing is that instead of trying to reengineer the global economy - as is required, for example, for the use of hydrogen fuel - they are trying to make a product that is interchangeable with oil. 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.

Hey, I'm all for it. And as you can see from the picture there, it's a fairly simple process to raise the bacteria. It just takes is a couple of 16oz Coke bottles, an atomic bomb, and what is either a really fancy coffee maker or a hot-air popcorn popper. You attach all the components with some plastic tubing, add some electricity, and presto, the lab explodes.

Hit the link for a much more in-depth article.

Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete oil [timesonline]

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