June 17, 2008

The Bug That Killed Exxon

Revolutionary stuff here via C&L. Evidently Silicone Valley has developed a strain of bacteria that might put the OPEC/Houston Cartel out of business. Evidently this little critter consumes organic agricultural waste, such as straw or wood chips, and excretes freakin' CRUDE OIL.

This "Oil 2.0," as developing company LS9's senior director Gregg Pal calls it, is completely interchangeable with today's fossil fuels, which means that switching to this type of fuel would require minimal, if any, infrastructure adjustments. You could pump it into your regular gas tank from regular ol' gas pumps.

The bast part? Oil 2.0 is carbon-negative! That means that the carbon emissions from burning this fuel are actually less than the carbon the bacteria absorb in creating it, if I understand correctly.

Obviously, there are some challenges to be faced in making this product market-ready. Production of Oil 2.0 requires some pretty large vats and would necessitate some square-footage intensive plants, but the cost is fairly reasonable. The bacteria can be developed in a matter of weeks for around $20,000, and when we are staring down the barrel (rimshot!) of $140 barrels of oil, a few grand seems very worthwhile.

Bam, Oil Crisis solved.

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