The Sun's Shadow

Stumbling to find a light switch in the dark

Oil From Bacteria

I just stumbled upon this article and it really goes to how awesome biology, life, science, humans are! The current price of oil and the fact that it is a limited resource got some people thinking and they seem to have found a way to make renewable oil, it is the exterition of Bacteria

“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 wood chips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.

By bugs he is talking about microscopic bacteria and how cool is that, through our understanding of molecular biology they altered the gentic code to excrete oil. That is pretty sweet science if you ask me.

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.

Wow that is impressive, this still needs to be thoroughly explored and verified but if it is true it is just really amazing… We also have consider if we want to continue with oil as a fuel the article notes this creation as being carbon neutral or negative I would like to see more data on that.


June 20, 2008 - Posted by | Nature, Science | ,

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