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Mass. company making diesel with sun, water,


The Caspian Hare
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110227/ap_on_re_us/us_growing_fuel;_ylt=Ajk7jYdLLDVxLZ1ifEG948as0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFldmg3aWFyBHBvcwM5OQRzZWMDYWNjb3JkaW9uX2J1c2luZXNzBHNsawNtYXNzY29tcGFueW0-

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A Massachusetts biotechnology company says it can produce the fuel that runs Jaguars and jet engines using the same ingredients that make grass grow.

Joule Unlimited has invented a genetically-engineered organism that it says simply secretes diesel fuel or ethanol wherever it finds sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company says it can manipulate the organism to produce the renewable fuels on demand at unprecedented rates, and can do it in facilities large and small at costs comparable to the cheapest fossil fuels.

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" They may not be dealing with biomass, but the company is facing complicated "engineering issues"

if they overcome these issues then there might be a chance that it may exceed.

But there is one more big issue that if this fuel becomes efficient enough to compete with the petroleum industry then the large corporations who have set up their business over fuel will try their very best to take this fuel down to failure.

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I'm just wondering how long this company thinks it's going to take for the industry to realize that they're actually using Algae.

Cynobacteria is Blue-Green Algae...

They've simply picked a strain that excretes it's oil external to the cell wall...

They STILL must produce enormous amounts of Biomass, and they still must process it out of their growth reactors in order to grow more (density blocks light, and that doesn't change regardless of your growth medium...)

The idea is great, I run an Algae Biofuels company myself.

But this company didn't 'invent' any sort of organism, they simply selectively chose one that produces oils external to the cell wall, instead of internally...

While this takes energy out of the processing step, choosing such a strain severely limits the amount of oil production possible.

Also, when they mention 'manipulating' the organism, all they are doing is starving it of Nitrogen.

While this does produce more oil per cell, it severely limits the growth rate of the colony (to the point of detriment, according to a 30+ year study by the US Dept of Energy called The Aquatic Species Program).

No news here, except that Joule has joined the Algae Biofuels industry...

Sorry Joule, some of us understand your jargon...

-Brand

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This seems like it could work to me. But with 20 billion gallons of oil used per year they will have a hard time scaling up to meet even a fraction of demand.

Assuming they can replace a barrel of oil with a barrel of manufactured fuel, and assuming that the 15,000 gallons per year per acre is good, then it will take...

640 acres per square mile

365 days per year

42 gallons per barrel

A = [(2000000000 barrels/day) * (365 days/year) / (42gallons/barrel)]/[(15000 gallons/year-acre) * (640 acres/sq mile)]

A = 18100 sq miles

So we would need a fuel farm of these panels about the size of New Hampshire and Vermont put together to meet current needs.

Still it sounds interesting.

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Recovering the fuel is where Joule could find significant problems, said Pienkos, the NREL scientist, who is also principal investigator on a Department of Energy-funded project with Algenol, a Joule competitor that makes ethanol and is one of the handful of companies that also bypass biomass.

from the story,

it seems that there are two companies doing the same kind of thing. the one in the story and the one the government is backing.

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Let's get this straight guys, the big oil companies are not afraid of this technology, because the demand will far outweigh the supply. If the bbl of oil goes down to $30-$60 per bbl, it will change nothing because demand will double. At the rate China, India & Brazil are putting cars on the roads and planes in the air, demand will meet the supply and oil will be back to $100 per bbl.

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Interesting read. Especially the comments from BrandofAmber.

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Now we need germs to make beer. Oh, never mind. I forgot. We already have those :w00t:

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Let's get this straight guys, the big oil companies are not afraid of this technology, because the demand will far outweigh the supply. If the bbl of oil goes down to $30-$60 per bbl, it will change nothing because demand will double. At the rate China, India & Brazil are putting cars on the roads and planes in the air, demand will meet the supply and oil will be back to $100 per bbl.

you mean oil is going to drop, that is good news. when??

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Sounds pretty iffy to me.

---

The alcohol in that beer you're drinking was produced by a living yeast (probably a bioengineered one). Does that make it taste iffy?

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And they named them Dick Cheny!

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