• Aug 25th 2007 at 8:21PM
  • 6

"We believe what we've found is not far from the silver bullet, and our demonstration plant will be about showing that. We have the organism people have dreamt of -- it eats nearly anything and it makes ethanol really quickly." - Hamish Curran TMO Renewables CEO

The organism that Curran is speaking of is a bacteria which was located in a compost heap. From there, scientists modified and refined the bacteria and are now saying that it is three-hundred times more efficient that it was while wild. They are calling this bacteria TM242, and it is a thermophile, meaning that it thrives in high heat environments. They plan to focus first in the U.S. in part because we have many E85 vehicles already on the road and an existing and growing infrastructure with which to distribute the fuel.

Other news from TMO: "We have an interesting beasty that was found on the side of a volcano in Montserrat just before it exploded. That one eats vegetable oil, drinks methanol and ****'s [ahem... excretes] biodiesel."

[Source: Treehugger]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago

      as the article says, they're thermophiles, so the chances of them spreading in the wild is pretty low. Then again, evolution might have one or two things to say about this...

      That being said, the question, as usual, is: how efficient is the process?
      • 8 Months Ago
      I have a concern with having bacteria making ethanol for us though. What if they accidentally get into the wild? Could they start eating down practically anything cellulose based? Could they harm other organisms? You need to be very careful when you're messing around with living things.
      • 8 Months Ago
      It's probably an anaerobic process...
      • 8 Months Ago
      Efficiency isn't really the #1 concern for a process that converts vegetable wastes into CO2 and valuable fuel. The more important question is: how do you keep the bacteria from suffocating in their "outputs" when their metabolism has been sped up 300 times?
      • 8 Months Ago
      Efficiency IS a concern, when you have a process that produces CO2 from vegetables that could have been composted, instead, fixing the carbon in the ground rather than releasing it in the atmosphere and depleting the soil at the same time.

      • 8 Months Ago
      Wonder who will write the first book about a murder in which the killer disposes of the body by using hybrid bacteria to turn the evidence into biodeisel. Kewl!
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