Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Hilarious Clinton

Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol

34 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

DieselFuel385_352162a.jpg

“Ten years ago I could never have imagined I’d be doing this,” says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive, as he squints into the late afternoon Californian sun. “I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But the people I talk to – especially the ones coming out of business school – this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into.”

He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.

Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”.

Mr Pal is a senior director of LS9, one of several companies in or near Silicon Valley that have spurned traditional high-tech activities such as software and networking and embarked instead on an extraordinary race to make $140-a-barrel oil (£70) from Saudi Arabia obsolete. “All of us here – everyone in this company and in this industry, are aware of the urgency,” Mr Pal says.

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.

LS9 has already convinced one oil industry veteran of its plan: Bob Walsh, 50, who now serves as the firm’s president after a 26-year career at Shell, most recently running European supply operations in London. “How many times in your life do you get the opportunity to grow a multi-billion-dollar company?” he asks. It is a bold statement from a man who works in a glorified cubicle in a San Francisco industrial estate for a company that describes itself as being “prerevenue”.

Inside LS9’s cluttered laboratory – funded by $20 million of start-up capital from investors including Vinod Khosla, the Indian-American entrepreneur who co-founded Sun Micro-systems – Mr Pal explains that LS9’s bugs are single-cell organisms, each a fraction of a billionth the size of an ant. They start out as industrial yeast or nonpathogenic strains of E. coli, but LS9 modifies them by custom-de-signing their DNA. “Five to seven years ago, that process would have taken months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he says. “Now it can take weeks and cost maybe $20,000.”

Because crude oil (which can be refined into other products, such as petroleum or jet fuel) is only a few molecular stages removed from the fatty acids normally excreted by yeast or E. coli during fermentation, it does not take much fiddling to get the desired result.

For fermentation to take place you need raw material, or feedstock, as it is known in the biofuels industry. 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.

The company is not interested in using corn as feedstock, given the much-publicised problems created by using food crops for fuel, such as the tortilla inflation that recently caused food riots in Mexico City. Instead, different types of agricultural waste will be used according to whatever makes sense for the local climate and economy: wheat straw in California, for example, or woodchips in the South.

Using genetically modified bugs for fermentation is essentially the same as using natural bacteria to produce ethanol, although the energy-intensive final process of distillation is virtually eliminated because the bugs excrete a substance that is almost pump-ready.

The closest that LS9 has come to mass production is a 1,000-litre fermenting machine, which looks like a large stainless-steel jar, next to a wardrobe-sized computer connected by a tangle of cables and tubes. It has not yet been plugged in. The machine produces the equivalent of one barrel a week and takes up 40 sq ft of floor space.

However, to substitute America’s weekly oil consumption of 143 million barrels, you would need a facility that covered about 205 square miles, an area roughly the size of Chicago.

That is the main problem: although LS9 can produce its bug fuel in laboratory beakers, it has no idea whether it will be able produce the same results on a nationwide or even global scale.

“Our plan is to have a demonstration-scale plant operational by 2010 and, in parallel, we’ll be working on the design and construction of a commercial-scale facility to open in 2011,” says Mr Pal, adding that if LS9 used Brazilian sugar cane as its feedstock, its fuel would probably cost about $50 a barrel.

Are Americans ready to be putting genetically modified bug excretion in their cars? “It’s not the same as with food,” Mr Pal says. “We’re putting these bacteria in a very isolated container: their entire universe is in that tank. When we’re done with them, they’re destroyed.”

Besides, he says, there is greater good being served. “I have two children, and climate change is something that they are going to face. The energy crisis is something that they are going to face. We have a collective responsibility to do this.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/envi...icle4133668.ece


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



barack-cowboy-hat.jpg
90f.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool! Go microbes!


Inlovingmemory-2.gif

October 13, 2005: VISA IN HAND!!!

November 15, 2005 - Arrival at JFK!!!

January 28, 2006 - WEDDING!!!

February 27, 2006 - Sent in AOS

June 23, 2006 - AP approved

June 29, 2006 - EAD approved

June 29, 2006 - Transferred to CSC

October 2006 - 2 year green card received!

July 15, 2008 - Sent in I-751

July 22, 2008 - I-751 NOA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline
OMG #######

i hope this is true. saudi arabia, you've been replaced by bug chit :lol:


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: Egypt
Timeline

Which will no doubt bug the S**t out of them.


Don't just open your mouth and prove yourself a fool....put it in writing.

It gets harder the more you know. Because the more you find out, the uglier everything seems.

kodasmall3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This should pizz off the far left. They way they talk about producing our own oil I get the feeling they just don't want us to use oil at all. If we are able to turn our garbage into oil this should send them into a hissy fit. :thumbs:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary, what you said doesn't make any sense at all - well, it does if you really buy into the idea that there is this liberal elite who want to dominate the planet by being rich enough to buy the remaining stocks of natural oil for their own exclusive use. However, that idea is really insane so as I said, what you said doesn't make any sense.

Suffice to say, yes, it would be great if it were possible to 'grow' oil in a way that is safe and sustainable. It's certainly an interesting idea.


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This should pizz off the far left. They way they talk about producing our own oil I get the feeling they just don't want us to use oil at all. If we are able to turn our garbage into oil this should send them into a hissy fit. :thumbs:

I dont know why it would "bug" them, after all the oil produced would be organic. :devil:


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

I don't work for LS9, but working for a Khosla energy company is really interesting.


5-15-2002 Met, by chance, while I traveled on business

3-15-2005 I-129F
9-18-2005 Visa in hand
11-23-2005 She arrives in USA
1-18-2006 She returns to Russia, engaged but not married

11-10-2006 We got married!

2-12-2007 I-130 sent by Express mail to NSC
2-26-2007 I-129F sent by Express mail to Chicago lock box
6-25-2007 Both NOA2s in hand; notice date 6-15-2007
9-17-2007 K3 visa in hand
11-12-2007 POE Atlanta

8-14-2008 AOS packet sent
9-13-2008 biometrics
1-30-2009 AOS interview
2-12-2009 10-yr Green Card arrives in mail

2-11-2014 US Citizenship ceremony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This should pizz off the far left. They way they talk about producing our own oil I get the feeling they just don't want us to use oil at all. If we are able to turn our garbage into oil this should send them into a hissy fit. :thumbs:

Yup. It's about control.

The far left will continue to use their private jets I'm sure.


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



barack-cowboy-hat.jpg
90f.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:rofl::rofl:

You do realise that when you come out with this stuff it makes you look crazy don't you?

He just recognizes the left elite for what it is. It isn't crazy.

Edited by GaryC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:rofl::rofl:

You do realise that when you come out with this stuff it makes you look crazy don't you?

He just recognizes the left elite for what it is. It isn't crazy.

Paranoia can be dangerous - conspiracy theories? Some people have too much time on their hands, seriously. However, you go ahead and believe this bullshite if that's what you want to do. The world must be a scary place, reds under the bed, liberals around every corner. Waste of time.


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:rofl::rofl:

You do realise that when you come out with this stuff it makes you look crazy don't you?

He just recognizes the left elite for what it is. It isn't crazy.

Paranoia can be dangerous - conspiracy theories? Some people have too much time on their hands, seriously. However, you go ahead and believe this bullshite if that's what you want to do. The world must be a scary place, reds under the bed, liberals around every corner. Waste of time.

I am not the only one. This is how a lot of people see the elite left.

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=133469

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...