Friday, July 15, 2011

The 21st Century Keeps Getting Better 


The implications for this technology are staggering, if in fact true. If they can reproduce this technology on a widespread scale, it could have enormous consequences. For one thing, it'd make fuel exponentially less expensive, and for another, liberals wouldn't be able to claim that a War for Oil is even a thing. It could transform the economy.

I hope to God this news is real. It would ruin my day if it wasn't. Also, apparently it's old news, this article was written in January about something that happened in Sept. 2010.


By Blogger E Hines, at Fri Jul 15, 08:50:00 AM:

It seems promising. Two other companies are doing much the same bio-engineering to get alcohol production directly from cyanobacteria: http://www.environmentteam.com/2010/01/08/modified-cyanobacteria-converts-co2-in-to-liquid-fuel/ , and http://www.blueridgesustainability.org/GM%20presentations/Bruce%20Dannenberg.swf (which also presents a slide describing at a high level a means of reproduction control so CB escaping into the wild don't, umm, run wild).

Doing some back of the envelope calculations on Joule Unlimited's numbers, it would take a total area (not necessarily all one square of dirt) roughly 81 miles on a side (roughly 6500 sq mi) to produce 100% of the US' 2005 gasoline consumption. This ignores expansion for things like access to usefully small sections for maintenance. For comparison, Chicago is roughly 225 sq mi, and your beloved Boston is a shade under 50 sq mi.

JU seems a serious startup: last May they concluded a deal to lease 1200 (options to expand to 5,000) acres in Lea County, NM for an initial (one might say IOT&E) plant. http://www.jouleunlimited.com/news/2011/joule-secures-first-multiple-sites-host-solar-fuel-production

Or maybe like you, I'm just a sucker for such hopes.

Eric Hines  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Fri Jul 15, 11:07:00 AM:

What would happen if those little buggers got loose in the oceans?  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Fri Jul 15, 02:04:00 PM:

I am skeptical.

Things that sound too good to be true usually are.

The article is vague and reads more like a promotion to invest in the company.

If they have a whole stable of bugs that really work, why are they not producing fuel commercially?

Still, it is a worthwhile post and I hope I am wrong.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jul 16, 01:12:00 AM:

21st century alchemy ... not lead to gold this time, but air and water to oil. One hopes.  

By Anonymous Spidey, at Sat Jul 16, 08:01:00 AM:

I have thought for a long time that some gene-tech company could get wildly rich by developing a bacteria that would eat sewage and shit oil. This seems to be something of the same sort of thing. Hope it works out.  

By Blogger rotator, at Sun Jul 17, 07:41:00 PM:

Sounds pretty capital intensive, to say nothing of the land area, water
and feed stock requirements. These
thinks will require relatively
warm conditions, lots of sunlight and ?non-atmospheric CO2. Wonder about problems of contamination with wild cyanobacteria with yield reductions. Back of the envelope suggests 1k-5K square miles of water tanks to make
a big dent in the US demand and
13K + square miles to replace. Great Salt Lake is 1K to 3K square
miles. Now if they could use salt

By Blogger Aegon01, at Wed Jul 20, 01:49:00 PM:

"The Joule technology requires no “feedstock,” no corn, no wood, no garbage, no algae. Aside from hungry, gene-altered micro-organisms, it requires only carbon dioxide and sunshine to manufacture crude. And water: whether fresh, brackish or salt." Did you guys actually read the article?  

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