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Published on November 10th, 2009 | by Nick Chambers

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Biofuels Breakthrough: Making Fuel From Air With Engineered Microbes

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In what could be a major breakthrough, Joule Biotechnologies announced that it has directly produced fuel from the plentiful carbon dioxide in the air around us using highly engineered photosynthetic microbes.

Inside specially designed reactors, Joule’s engineered microbes thrive off of sunlight and CO2. In return, depending on the type of organism, they can produce straight ethanol, diesel or a number of other types of hydrocarbons.

Although the process sounds similar to algae-produced biofuels, the Joule process is incredibly (and beneficially) different for several reasons:

  • Doesn’t produce biomass
  • No agricultural feedstock needed
  • Can be conducted on non-arable land
  • Doesn’t need fresh water
  • Produces fuel directly without the need for extraction or refinement

Apparently Joule has discovered some unique genes inside these microbes that produce the enzymes responsible for directly making the molecules found in diesel. From there, engineering organisms to make other fuels was a simple step. At this point, production of the fuels has only been done in the lab, but Joule has plans to open a pilot plant in early 2011.

Source: Biofuels Digest

Image Credit: Joule Biotechnologies



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  • S.W.

    Am I the only one who sees the terrible danger that this could present? What if these microbes get into the natural water supply? These microbes secrete hydrocarbons, and hydrocarbons are toxic to almost all life on Earth. If they get into the water supply they could kill of competing organisms and leave toxic hydrocarbon pollution in their wake. How could we stop them if they got into to water? Think “Andromeda Strain” here. This should never be allowed to move forward because it is inevitable that some of these organisms would eventually make it into the natural waters of our planet and cause a disaster of unimaginable dire consequences.

  • S.W.

    Am I the only one who sees the terrible danger that this could present? What if these microbes get into the natural water supply? These microbes secrete hydrocarbons, and hydrocarbons are toxic to almost all life on Earth. If they get into the water supply they could kill of competing organisms and leave toxic hydrocarbon pollution in their wake. How could we stop them if they got into to water? Think “Andromeda Strain” here. This should never be allowed to move forward because it is inevitable that some of these organisms would eventually make it into the natural waters of our planet and cause a disaster of unimaginable dire consequences.

  • Mike Goldman

    Think of the “GOLD” Alchemists= Joule

    Or worst I agree with JW above (The FDA should take a very serious look at this ASAP =Its either Fraud or worse as outlined below.

    Am I the only one who sees the terrible danger that this could present? What if these microbes get into the natural water supply? These microbes secrete hydrocarbons, and hydrocarbons are toxic to almost all life on Earth. If they get into the water supply they could kill of competing organisms and leave toxic hydrocarbon pollution in their wake. How could we stop them if they got into to water? Think “Andromeda Strain” here. This should never be allowed to move forward because it is inevitable that some of these organisms would eventually make it into the natural waters of our planet and cause a disaster of unimaginable dire consequences.

  • Mike Goldman

    Think of the “GOLD” Alchemists= Joule

    Or worst I agree with JW above (The FDA should take a very serious look at this ASAP =Its either Fraud or worse as outlined below.

    Am I the only one who sees the terrible danger that this could present? What if these microbes get into the natural water supply? These microbes secrete hydrocarbons, and hydrocarbons are toxic to almost all life on Earth. If they get into the water supply they could kill of competing organisms and leave toxic hydrocarbon pollution in their wake. How could we stop them if they got into to water? Think “Andromeda Strain” here. This should never be allowed to move forward because it is inevitable that some of these organisms would eventually make it into the natural waters of our planet and cause a disaster of unimaginable dire consequences.

  • John

    @SW —

    A little alarmist, don’t you think? I would not be at all surprised if these microbes would get their tiny butts kicked out in the real world. If they were so much better at out-competing all other forms of life, then they would have turned up sometime over the past several billion years of evolution and none of us would be here today. I bet these things can only be coaxed into existing in a very specific environment.

  • John

    @SW —

    A little alarmist, don’t you think? I would not be at all surprised if these microbes would get their tiny butts kicked out in the real world. If they were so much better at out-competing all other forms of life, then they would have turned up sometime over the past several billion years of evolution and none of us would be here today. I bet these things can only be coaxed into existing in a very specific environment.

  • John

    @SW —

    A little alarmist, don’t you think? I would not be at all surprised if these microbes would get their tiny butts kicked out in the real world. If they were so much better at out-competing all other forms of life, then they would have turned up sometime over the past several billion years of evolution and none of us would be here today. I bet these things can only be coaxed into existing in a very specific environment.

  • http://robs-blog.sevenoaksottos.com robdylan

    what’s the bet SW works for an oil company? :)

  • http://robs-blog.sevenoaksottos.com robdylan

    what’s the bet SW works for an oil company? :)

  • http://robs-blog.sevenoaksottos.com robdylan

    what’s the bet SW works for an oil company? :)

  • KELLI2L

    Making Fuel From AIR. . .

    Now that sounds like a wonderful thing to be doing, which won’t deplete other resources, and makes good use of something so seemingly plentiful !!!

  • KELLI2L

    Making Fuel From AIR. . .

    Now that sounds like a wonderful thing to be doing, which won’t deplete other resources, and makes good use of something so seemingly plentiful !!!

  • John

    The above scenario is bad, but what about the climate implications of limitless cheap hydrocarbon fuels to burn? Venus here we come.

  • John

    The above scenario is bad, but what about the climate implications of limitless cheap hydrocarbon fuels to burn? Venus here we come.

  • John

    The above scenario is bad, but what about the climate implications of limitless cheap hydrocarbon fuels to burn? Venus here we come.

  • Jim

    “Can be conducted on non-arable land”

    Where is there a huge amount of non-arable land? So much for breaking our dependence on the Middle East for our oil supplies…… :->

    Or, from another viewpoint, I can see it now “Son, you’re gonna have to stop breathing, someone bought the mineral rights on that air in your lungs.”

    Or yet another viewpoint – everyone will be required to get 3 hours of hard physical exercise each day to produce enough CO2 to generate enough ethanol to run Al Gore’s SUVs.

    Sorry, I should drink coffee before commenting.

  • Jim

    “Can be conducted on non-arable land”

    Where is there a huge amount of non-arable land? So much for breaking our dependence on the Middle East for our oil supplies…… :->

    Or, from another viewpoint, I can see it now “Son, you’re gonna have to stop breathing, someone bought the mineral rights on that air in your lungs.”

    Or yet another viewpoint – everyone will be required to get 3 hours of hard physical exercise each day to produce enough CO2 to generate enough ethanol to run Al Gore’s SUVs.

    Sorry, I should drink coffee before commenting.

  • Jim

    “Can be conducted on non-arable land”

    Where is there a huge amount of non-arable land? So much for breaking our dependence on the Middle East for our oil supplies…… :->

    Or, from another viewpoint, I can see it now “Son, you’re gonna have to stop breathing, someone bought the mineral rights on that air in your lungs.”

    Or yet another viewpoint – everyone will be required to get 3 hours of hard physical exercise each day to produce enough CO2 to generate enough ethanol to run Al Gore’s SUVs.

    Sorry, I should drink coffee before commenting.

  • Ian Malcome

    To John,

    Life will find a way.

  • Ian Malcome

    To John,

    Life will find a way.

  • Ian Malcome

    To John,

    Life will find a way.

  • http://themanshark.wordpress.com Brien

    Not necessarily, John. The organisms we see today are not the inevitable end result of survival of the fittest. The fittest have survived, but it’s been an, arguably, chaotic and random journey.

    So, perhaps, these sorts of microbes just haven’t existed in our current environment yet.

    Either way, it doesn’t seem out of our reach to engineer the microbes to die in an outside environment.

  • http://themanshark.wordpress.com Brien

    Not necessarily, John. The organisms we see today are not the inevitable end result of survival of the fittest. The fittest have survived, but it’s been an, arguably, chaotic and random journey.

    So, perhaps, these sorts of microbes just haven’t existed in our current environment yet.

    Either way, it doesn’t seem out of our reach to engineer the microbes to die in an outside environment.

  • http://themanshark.wordpress.com Brien

    Not necessarily, John. The organisms we see today are not the inevitable end result of survival of the fittest. The fittest have survived, but it’s been an, arguably, chaotic and random journey.

    So, perhaps, these sorts of microbes just haven’t existed in our current environment yet.

    Either way, it doesn’t seem out of our reach to engineer the microbes to die in an outside environment.

  • http://blah.com cosinezero

    Seriously? You guys think that other microbes aren’t in our water supply?

    We deal with them just fine – chlorine.

  • http://blah.com cosinezero

    Seriously? You guys think that other microbes aren’t in our water supply?

    We deal with them just fine – chlorine.

  • http://blah.com cosinezero

    Seriously? You guys think that other microbes aren’t in our water supply?

    We deal with them just fine – chlorine.

  • Andrew

    I have to agree with John. It says in the first line:

    “Inside specially designed reactors, Joule’s engineered microbes thrive …”

    I’m thinking there’s possibly a charge or heating component that would create allow the microbes to do their work. But that’s just rational thinking, which I often find myself guilty of.

  • Andrew

    I have to agree with John. It says in the first line:

    “Inside specially designed reactors, Joule’s engineered microbes thrive …”

    I’m thinking there’s possibly a charge or heating component that would create allow the microbes to do their work. But that’s just rational thinking, which I often find myself guilty of.

  • D

    @S.W. and @John Although I can’t attest to the particular microbes being used by Joule, lab grown strains of anything are generally out-competed by wild-type strains of the same bacteria found in the wild. John is right on the nose.

    Something to be said about being experimentally evolved in very specific laboratory or industrial settings with controlled conditions and entire batches culled because they were not producing the product desired efficiently. As with all things that science produces, things will need to be tested and tested again, and if they somehow actually produce these fuel systems, which will be a logistical nightmare, some regulatory body will be in charge

    @Mike Goldman Even though “someone” should take a serious look at this, I’m 90% sure bioengineered bacteria for fuel purposes doesn’t fall under the purview of the FDA. Probably EPA or some DoE body.

  • D

    @S.W. and @John Although I can’t attest to the particular microbes being used by Joule, lab grown strains of anything are generally out-competed by wild-type strains of the same bacteria found in the wild. John is right on the nose.

    Something to be said about being experimentally evolved in very specific laboratory or industrial settings with controlled conditions and entire batches culled because they were not producing the product desired efficiently. As with all things that science produces, things will need to be tested and tested again, and if they somehow actually produce these fuel systems, which will be a logistical nightmare, some regulatory body will be in charge

    @Mike Goldman Even though “someone” should take a serious look at this, I’m 90% sure bioengineered bacteria for fuel purposes doesn’t fall under the purview of the FDA. Probably EPA or some DoE body.

  • Kedar

    These are some of the most ignorant and mentally retarded comments I’ve seen.

    Water is chemically treated and filtered before it enters your home so there is no danger of microbes of any kind. On top of that these microbes special conditions to survive which are not found in any natural setting. They cannot survive outside the bioreactor.

    The CO2 these organism use to create hydrocarbons is pulled from the atmosphere. If you burn they hydrocarbons from this source the CO2 will return to the atmosphere, and you can reuse it again with these microbes. The net amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere is zero.

  • Kedar

    These are some of the most ignorant and mentally retarded comments I’ve seen.

    Water is chemically treated and filtered before it enters your home so there is no danger of microbes of any kind. On top of that these microbes special conditions to survive which are not found in any natural setting. They cannot survive outside the bioreactor.

    The CO2 these organism use to create hydrocarbons is pulled from the atmosphere. If you burn they hydrocarbons from this source the CO2 will return to the atmosphere, and you can reuse it again with these microbes. The net amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere is zero.

  • Kedar

    These are some of the most ignorant and mentally retarded comments I’ve seen.

    Water is chemically treated and filtered before it enters your home so there is no danger of microbes of any kind. On top of that these microbes special conditions to survive which are not found in any natural setting. They cannot survive outside the bioreactor.

    The CO2 these organism use to create hydrocarbons is pulled from the atmosphere. If you burn they hydrocarbons from this source the CO2 will return to the atmosphere, and you can reuse it again with these microbes. The net amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere is zero.

  • David Cortesi

    This is a ridiculous claim that cannot possibly be true as written. Where are there these magical bacteria that thrive in brackish water (“no fresh water”) and excrete high-energy molecules without any food intake (“no … feedstock”)? And which never multiply even though they are thriving (“no biomass produced”)? And how does the ethanol get out of the bioreactor “without the need for extraction or refinement”? They have trapped Maxwell’s Demon, perhaps, to bat the ethanol molecules out one side of the solution? Oh, and which of the hundreds of “the molecules found in diesel” do these magical bacteria produce?

    Oh, and it only happens in a lab, but scaling it up to a level where it can produce the millions of barrels required to begin to make any useful contribution to the economy — that won’t be any problem or take any time.

  • David Cortesi

    This is a ridiculous claim that cannot possibly be true as written. Where are there these magical bacteria that thrive in brackish water (“no fresh water”) and excrete high-energy molecules without any food intake (“no … feedstock”)? And which never multiply even though they are thriving (“no biomass produced”)? And how does the ethanol get out of the bioreactor “without the need for extraction or refinement”? They have trapped Maxwell’s Demon, perhaps, to bat the ethanol molecules out one side of the solution? Oh, and which of the hundreds of “the molecules found in diesel” do these magical bacteria produce?

    Oh, and it only happens in a lab, but scaling it up to a level where it can produce the millions of barrels required to begin to make any useful contribution to the economy — that won’t be any problem or take any time.

  • Number 127

    This form of biofuel is environmentally friendly, at least in the sense that it’s carbon neutral. The algae or whatever pulls carbon from the air and binds it up in hydrocarbons. When you burn the hydrocarbons, the carbon goes back into the air where it came from.

    That’s unlike regular oil, which comes out of the ground where it’s been sitting for millions of years. Essentially what we’re doing now is taking huge reserves of carbon that live underground and putting them into the atmosphere all at once.

    I don’t think there’s really a danger of these organisms running amok, either. They’re engineered specifically to produce as much oil as possible that they make major sacrifices to durability and resilience. In fact, one of the big hurdles with algal biofuels so far is that it’s hard to keep natural microbes from contaminating the environment and wiping out the engineered algae.

  • Number 127

    This form of biofuel is environmentally friendly, at least in the sense that it’s carbon neutral. The algae or whatever pulls carbon from the air and binds it up in hydrocarbons. When you burn the hydrocarbons, the carbon goes back into the air where it came from.

    That’s unlike regular oil, which comes out of the ground where it’s been sitting for millions of years. Essentially what we’re doing now is taking huge reserves of carbon that live underground and putting them into the atmosphere all at once.

    I don’t think there’s really a danger of these organisms running amok, either. They’re engineered specifically to produce as much oil as possible that they make major sacrifices to durability and resilience. In fact, one of the big hurdles with algal biofuels so far is that it’s hard to keep natural microbes from contaminating the environment and wiping out the engineered algae.

  • Number 127

    This form of biofuel is environmentally friendly, at least in the sense that it’s carbon neutral. The algae or whatever pulls carbon from the air and binds it up in hydrocarbons. When you burn the hydrocarbons, the carbon goes back into the air where it came from.

    That’s unlike regular oil, which comes out of the ground where it’s been sitting for millions of years. Essentially what we’re doing now is taking huge reserves of carbon that live underground and putting them into the atmosphere all at once.

    I don’t think there’s really a danger of these organisms running amok, either. They’re engineered specifically to produce as much oil as possible that they make major sacrifices to durability and resilience. In fact, one of the big hurdles with algal biofuels so far is that it’s hard to keep natural microbes from contaminating the environment and wiping out the engineered algae.

  • John

    In response to Jim

    1- there is also plenty of non-arable in the southwest US, northern Mexico, Australia, Southern Africa, deserts in Chile, Namibia and many other places.

    2- Does he want us to exercise each day to make CO2 or will we be charged to breath. the reality is it is a closed loop. the Algae absorbs CO2 to make fuel then releases it when it is burned. All driven by solar energy.

  • John

    In response to Jim

    1- there is also plenty of non-arable in the southwest US, northern Mexico, Australia, Southern Africa, deserts in Chile, Namibia and many other places.

    2- Does he want us to exercise each day to make CO2 or will we be charged to breath. the reality is it is a closed loop. the Algae absorbs CO2 to make fuel then releases it when it is burned. All driven by solar energy.

  • John

    In response to Jim

    1- there is also plenty of non-arable in the southwest US, northern Mexico, Australia, Southern Africa, deserts in Chile, Namibia and many other places.

    2- Does he want us to exercise each day to make CO2 or will we be charged to breath. the reality is it is a closed loop. the Algae absorbs CO2 to make fuel then releases it when it is burned. All driven by solar energy.

  • J

    I have some snake oil for sale if anyone is interested…

  • J

    I have some snake oil for sale if anyone is interested…

  • Michael

    @Jim

    “Can be conducted on non-arable land” does not mean must be…

    There’s plenty of CO2 in the air, we needn’t worry about breathing.

    About the possibility of these bugs getting out into the world: that is a good question. Perhaps these brains are ahead of us on that one. I’m sure they can make them dependent on a cheap enzyme. I know that dentists are working on such a bug right now.

  • Michael

    @Jim

    “Can be conducted on non-arable land” does not mean must be…

    There’s plenty of CO2 in the air, we needn’t worry about breathing.

    About the possibility of these bugs getting out into the world: that is a good question. Perhaps these brains are ahead of us on that one. I’m sure they can make them dependent on a cheap enzyme. I know that dentists are working on such a bug right now.

  • Girlfriend

    Dear John

    if you are pulling CO2 out of the air to make the fuel, then burning it only releases it back. It’s a renewable energy. Derrrrr.

  • Girlfriend

    Dear John

    if you are pulling CO2 out of the air to make the fuel, then burning it only releases it back. It’s a renewable energy. Derrrrr.

  • Girlfriend

    Dear John

    if you are pulling CO2 out of the air to make the fuel, then burning it only releases it back. It’s a renewable energy. Derrrrr.

  • Leo

    Highly engineered organisms present a terrible risk. Don’t do it. See what happened by using genetically engineered soyabeans. It is disaster…

  • Leo

    Highly engineered organisms present a terrible risk. Don’t do it. See what happened by using genetically engineered soyabeans. It is disaster…

  • Jared

    Most microbes store energy in some form like oil. That oil is what other algal biofuel projects have been trying to isolate and turn into something productive. These microbes supposedly store energy as hydrocarbons and excrete them(?). There is no evolutionary advantage to this that I can think of, they’re not storing their energy for later use, it would be like us eating food and pissing all the nutrients out into the toilet. It doesn’t seem like they could survive for long in the wild, much less grow at any reasonable rate.

  • Jared

    Most microbes store energy in some form like oil. That oil is what other algal biofuel projects have been trying to isolate and turn into something productive. These microbes supposedly store energy as hydrocarbons and excrete them(?). There is no evolutionary advantage to this that I can think of, they’re not storing their energy for later use, it would be like us eating food and pissing all the nutrients out into the toilet. It doesn’t seem like they could survive for long in the wild, much less grow at any reasonable rate.

  • http://www.ymparistojakehitys.fi/energia_terrapreta.html MaxTperson

    Why all the patenting and genetic engineering to make thing that may, or may not, be dangerous, or zero carbon emissions ?

    Why not just harvest the existing ample seaweeds and algaes from overnutrified shallow coastal shelves areas, let rainwater flush the salt away from surfaces of seaweed… and then toss the seaweeds into biodigesters for some handy biogas energy *and* simultaneous plant farming fertilizer manufacturing at once ? Would this method not be methane emission *negative* ?

  • http://www.ymparistojakehitys.fi/energia_terrapreta.html MaxTperson

    Why all the patenting and genetic engineering to make thing that may, or may not, be dangerous, or zero carbon emissions ?

    Why not just harvest the existing ample seaweeds and algaes from overnutrified shallow coastal shelves areas, let rainwater flush the salt away from surfaces of seaweed… and then toss the seaweeds into biodigesters for some handy biogas energy *and* simultaneous plant farming fertilizer manufacturing at once ? Would this method not be methane emission *negative* ?

  • http://www.ymparistojakehitys.fi/energia_terrapreta.html MaxTperson

    Why all the patenting and genetic engineering to make thing that may, or may not, be dangerous, or zero carbon emissions ?

    Why not just harvest the existing ample seaweeds and algaes from overnutrified shallow coastal shelves areas, let rainwater flush the salt away from surfaces of seaweed… and then toss the seaweeds into biodigesters for some handy biogas energy *and* simultaneous plant farming fertilizer manufacturing at once ? Would this method not be methane emission *negative* ?

  • http://www.twitter.com/carbon_sciences Matt Bartlett

    Another company that is doing this, Carbon Sciences, is developing a breakthrough technology to recycle carbon dioxide emissions into gasoline and other fuels. You can follow them on Twitter @Carbon_Sciences http://www.twitter.com/carbon_sciences – Pretty interesting stuff.

  • http://www.twitter.com/carbon_sciences Matt Bartlett

    Another company that is doing this, Carbon Sciences, is developing a breakthrough technology to recycle carbon dioxide emissions into gasoline and other fuels. You can follow them on Twitter @Carbon_Sciences http://www.twitter.com/carbon_sciences – Pretty interesting stuff.

  • eco_hunter

    Leo said on November 11th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Highly engineered organisms present a terrible risk. Don’t do it. See what happened by using genetically engineered soyabeans. It is disaster…

    Is it? Why do you think so? :-//

  • eco_hunter

    Leo said on November 11th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Highly engineered organisms present a terrible risk. Don’t do it. See what happened by using genetically engineered soyabeans. It is disaster…

    Is it? Why do you think so? :-//

  • eco_hunter

    Leo said on November 11th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Highly engineered organisms present a terrible risk. Don’t do it. See what happened by using genetically engineered soyabeans. It is disaster…

    Is it? Why do you think so? :-//

  • Eli

    How efficiently does this fuel burn? What if it’s just as bad as petrol? The article did not address that.

  • Eli

    How efficiently does this fuel burn? What if it’s just as bad as petrol? The article did not address that.

  • Marc P.

    The Joule’s site reads like a sales pitch to potential investors. “We’ve found a way to make gold out of air… give us your money and we’ll make you rich.”

    When you go past the hype, it is an interesting technology non the less. It’s carbon neutral in the sense that it wouldn’t put any MORE CO2 in the atmosphere but it would keep recycling what’s already there. In that sense, it’s not the ideal technology. A carbon negative fuel solution would be better… but what could give us that??

    As someone pointed out (and I realize as I look at my protruding lower abdomen…) don’t natural organisms already store energy in oil/fat ? ?

  • Marc P.

    The Joule’s site reads like a sales pitch to potential investors. “We’ve found a way to make gold out of air… give us your money and we’ll make you rich.”

    When you go past the hype, it is an interesting technology non the less. It’s carbon neutral in the sense that it wouldn’t put any MORE CO2 in the atmosphere but it would keep recycling what’s already there. In that sense, it’s not the ideal technology. A carbon negative fuel solution would be better… but what could give us that??

    As someone pointed out (and I realize as I look at my protruding lower abdomen…) don’t natural organisms already store energy in oil/fat ? ?

  • http://vivzizi Geo

    I hope they put terminator genes in these microbes because if (when) these things get out in the wild they will grow oil that will pollute any water or soil on earth they come into contact with.

    There is not only a global warming problem.

    Oil is poision both in the gorund and in the stuff it puts into the air we breath even if it is carbon neutral.

    There is a huge POLLUTION killer problem in huge areas of the USA in cities and downwind of cities now becuase the exhaust from burning oil derivatives kills AND it lowers the oxygen content in city air which increases heart attacks.

    When we finally admit oil is bad as a fuel and just start building infrastructure around electric rail highways and battery exchange depots to power electric cars we will finally start really moving forward.

    We can make limitless range electric vehicle right now with battery exchange depots for instant battery swap refueling and by putting electric rails on major roadways to keep electric cars charged while driving (which can also use car batteries to supply the grid in electric supply deficiency periods solving brownouts.)

  • http://www.vivzizi.com Geo

    I hope they put terminator genes in these microbes because if (when) these things get out in the wild they will grow oil that will pollute any water or soil on earth they come into contact with.

    There is not only a global warming problem.

    Oil is poision both in the gorund and in the stuff it puts into the air we breath even if it is carbon neutral.

    There is a huge POLLUTION killer problem in huge areas of the USA in cities and downwind of cities now becuase the exhaust from burning oil derivatives kills AND it lowers the oxygen content in city air which increases heart attacks.

    When we finally admit oil is bad as a fuel and just start building infrastructure around electric rail highways and battery exchange depots to power electric cars we will finally start really moving forward.

    We can make limitless range electric vehicle right now with battery exchange depots for instant battery swap refueling and by putting electric rails on major roadways to keep electric cars charged while driving (which can also use car batteries to supply the grid in electric supply deficiency periods solving brownouts.)

    vivzizi

  • http://www.vivzizi.com Geo

    I hope they put terminator genes in these microbes because if (when) these things get out in the wild they will grow oil that will pollute any water or soil on earth they come into contact with.

    There is not only a global warming problem.

    Oil is poision both in the gorund and in the stuff it puts into the air we breath even if it is carbon neutral.

    There is a huge POLLUTION killer problem in huge areas of the USA in cities and downwind of cities now becuase the exhaust from burning oil derivatives kills AND it lowers the oxygen content in city air which increases heart attacks.

    When we finally admit oil is bad as a fuel and just start building infrastructure around electric rail highways and battery exchange depots to power electric cars we will finally start really moving forward.

    We can make limitless range electric vehicle right now with battery exchange depots for instant battery swap refueling and by putting electric rails on major roadways to keep electric cars charged while driving (which can also use car batteries to supply the grid in electric supply deficiency periods solving brownouts.)

    vivzizi

  • http://www.vivzizi.com Geo

    I hope they put terminator genes in these microbes because if (when) these things get out in the wild they will grow oil that will pollute any water or soil on earth they come into contact with.

    There is not only a global warming problem.

    Oil is poision both in the gorund and in the stuff it puts into the air we breath even if it is carbon neutral.

    There is a huge POLLUTION killer problem in huge areas of the USA in cities and downwind of cities now becuase the exhaust from burning oil derivatives kills AND it lowers the oxygen content in city air which increases heart attacks.

    When we finally admit oil is bad as a fuel and just start building infrastructure around electric rail highways and battery exchange depots to power electric cars we will finally start really moving forward.

    We can make limitless range electric vehicle right now with battery exchange depots for instant battery swap refueling and by putting electric rails on major roadways to keep electric cars charged while driving (which can also use car batteries to supply the grid in electric supply deficiency periods solving brownouts.)

    vivzizi

  • http://www.bewilderingstories.com Jerry

    Wait a second… Specially designed microbes that require CO2 and sunlight get in the water… Outside their special reactor. Hmmm.

    Exactly how much CO2 is there in the average pond, lake, ocean, eh? And that’s assuming the little puppies can even exist in the open. My initial reaction is that they wouldn’t last very long, and the amount of hydrocarbon they could exude before termination would be miniscule.

  • http://www.bewilderingstories.com Jerry

    Wait a second… Specially designed microbes that require CO2 and sunlight get in the water… Outside their special reactor. Hmmm.

    Exactly how much CO2 is there in the average pond, lake, ocean, eh? And that’s assuming the little puppies can even exist in the open. My initial reaction is that they wouldn’t last very long, and the amount of hydrocarbon they could exude before termination would be miniscule.

  • scott

    Fuel from air? Seems to me this is fuel from the sun. Nice headline.

  • scott

    Fuel from air? Seems to me this is fuel from the sun. Nice headline.

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