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Researchers Develop Biofuel Alternative To Ethanol

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the new-and-improved dept.

Biotech 320

coondoggie writes "Researchers say they have developed a method of using bacteria to convert decaying grass directly into isobutanol, which can be burned in regular car engines with a heat value higher than ethanol but similar to gasoline. The research could mean great savings in processing costs and time, plus isobutanol is a higher grade of alcohol than ethanol, according to the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) and its Oak Ridge National Laboratory"

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I have seen that work (0, Troll)

happyhacker1 (2012734) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438624)

Unfortunately that fuel, destroys [tinyurl.com] in long run the car engine even faster that ethanol.

Re:I have seen that work (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438652)

Warning: that link is goatse

Re:I have seen that work (2)

MorderVonAllem (931645) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438792)

Aren't all shortlinks posted here?

Re:I have seen that work (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439032)

Goatse can kill a car engine even faster than isobutanol!

Its not called gas but its called... (1)

JaydenT (2012002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438628)

Their marketing department might need to think of a snappier name than 'Isobutanol'

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438682)

Gas is actually gasoline. People will end up calling it iso or something.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438738)

Except where it is petrol, mogas, or something else.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438776)

Don't forget gojuice.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438804)

grassoline sounds pretty snappy

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439080)

Gives a whole new meaning to the "Gas, Ass or Grass" bumper stickers

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439086)

You've got my vote.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439140)

true, but that complicates the expression "gas, grass, or ass... no one rides for free".

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439028)

Gas is actually gasoline. People will end up calling it iso or something.

Gasoline is actually a mixture of heptane and octane, sot it has happened already.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439250)

How about iGas

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (2)

finarfinjge (612748) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438928)

How about we call it food. Because that is what we are using to create this stuff. Sure, you can produce these things with waste, but corn is better and more efficient and hence much more profitable. As such, this will divert food from (literally) starving people to powering engines. Good luck identifying whether it is from corn or kelp. There is a perfectly good substitute for using food to create the fuel to power your car. It is called crude oil.

Cheers

JE

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (2)

dabridgham (814799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439072)

If the isobutanol is made from decaying grass then it's not food for humans.

Are you sure? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439106)

Decaying grass is food for plants which are food for humans. Meaning that only dumb azzes think it is not food for humans.

Re:Are you sure? (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439212)

If plants are eating grass then I think we should probably look into that problem instead.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (4, Informative)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439096)

Actually corn sucks as a fuel FYI. Most other alternative fuels pack more punch per ounce including waste materials like methane. Unfortunately as Americans, corn is all we really have because that's one of the few the crops the government chose to subsidize starting back in 1929. We have so much corn that the government at times decided to purchase and burn tons of it just to keep prices inflated and protect farmers. But if you care to save our sacred crop that makes us fat, makes our livestock sick, and sucks as a fuel then more power to you.

I support growing more grass even if we use it as fuel.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439280)

weed? i hear cars can fly on it.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (5, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439122)

Whereas right now, corn productions is managed efficiently, and the starving people all get food... right.

Starvation is mostly a logistics and political problem. Low-grade corn is cheap near where it's produced, but that's generally not where people are starving. Moving the food to the people costs money, which raises the final cost beyond what the people can afford. A government could subsidize that cost, but that kind of action is often systematically abused and easily spun by political opponents as "propping up those greedy transport companies".

Basic economic analysis tells us that with starving people needing food, but only being able to pay a lower amount for it, a smart distribution company will simply ignore those people in favor of markets that will turn a profit. The simplest solution is to make starving areas profitable, either with a subsidy or by lowering the cost of transport.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439220)

Moving the food to the people costs money

Not money... but I'll give you one guess as to what it requires...

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (3, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439196)

"We" aren't doing anything. I'm using my grass to create food, and fuel, and whatever else I need. You can use your grass however you want.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439040)

Petrol?

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439064)

Surely: grassoline.

Re:Its not called gas but its called... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439094)

You won't ever buy it. The companies refining the oil will. It will be blended with gasoline like MTB and ethanol to meet legislated requirements for oxygen in the gasoline. There is a bunch of reasons the oxygen is needed. Google them if you really need to know. Hopefully it means a price reduction at the pumps eventually if is actually cheaper in the end. Or at least the gas will go farther from a higher energy content.

Call me when it's on shelves. (1)

LordHaart (1364019) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438638)

Wasn't there an identical article a few weeks ago? Like Fusion power, this seems to come up all the time but until something is in production it's not really news...

Re:Call me when it's on shelves. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438704)

Exactly. If I believed the headlines, I'd have my wallet out looking to buy all the great, cheap, green, renewable energy I could get my hands on. As it is, all I see are gas pumps and power lines.

Re:Call me when it's on shelves. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438760)

And what about the 'pond scum' that made oil that was trumpeted a year or two ago?

I've got quite a few lawn clippings I want to turn into fuel for my car, and save space in the landfill.

How do I get a starter pack of these bacteria?

No, I'm serious!

Dan

Re:Call me when it's on shelves. (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438926)

Ethanol fuel in the US is a subsidy for corn growers, plain and simple. Any effect is has on the fuel supply is a distant afterthought. Therefore, any alternative to ethanol that isn't made from corn, corn, and only corn completely misses the point and won't get any national attention. I tell you, the first and most important step in balancing the US budget is to move the first few. most inluential, presidential primaries to states that don't grow corn!

Re:Call me when it's on shelves. (3, Interesting)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438998)

Clostridium cellulolyticum strain H10 (ATCC 35319) is a non-ruminal mesophilic cellulolytic bacterium originally isolated from decayed grass compost (Petitdemange et al., 1984). http://genome.jgi-psf.org/cloce/cloce.home.html [jgi-psf.org]

Apparently it's already in your grass clipplings, so all you need to do is;
1 separate out the C. cellulolyticum H10
2 culture and grow an inoculating culture
3 sterilize you grass clippling
4 inoculate with you C. cellulyticum and ferment
5 profit

Re:Call me when it's on shelves. (3)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438764)

There might have been one about fusion power, but there was one specifically about isobutanol.

Gevo has been developing their own fermentation technology for over 8 years, until a patent issued to a JV between BP and Dupont on Dec 2010 is suddenly seeing Gevo in court [cleantechies.com]

If IP battles are going to go on in such a raging manner it will be decades before we (as consumers) see anything useful come out of these technologies.

And we all know where things are heading [nationalgeographic.com] while we linger...

Decades, you say? (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438856)

If IP battles are going to go on in such a raging manner it will be decades before we (as consumers) see anything useful come out of these technologies.

Hmm... The plaintiffs are BP and DuPont. Do you think that "decades" might be the whole point?

Re:Call me when it's on shelves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439042)

What will be funny is if non-oil-producing developing nations come out ahead in the energy independence game because they don't have to abide by the U.S. and Europe's I.P. nonsense. I could easily see Asia or South America leap-frogging the U.S. in regards to this technology and related infrastructure because no patent trolls or obstructive corporations can prevent its implementation. (If I was in charge of a company developing this technology, I'd not waste time remaining in a country that blocks such effort. Time to pick up the bags and find greener pastures.)

An extra layer of irony is that if one of those countries becomes good enough at it to be an exporter of bio-produced petroleum substitute, while we in the west end up still dicking around and being crippled by a speculation driven resource economy.

Finally! (3, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438660)

Some grassoline that most of us can use. I've been intrigued by the biodiesel movement for some time now, but there are so few Diesel cars available for purchase in this country that it hasn't even been worth considering for me. If this will burn in a regular gas engine, though...

Re:Finally! (3, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438732)

The VW TDI cars are excellent cars, but Diesel is now so expensive that despite their phenomenal mileage they're still not economical. I now pay at least $0.20 more per gallon than premium unleaded around here.

20 cents? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438784)

Wow, that's horrific. Maybe we can take up a collection to help you out in your time of need.

Re:20 cents? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438836)

Maybe you can go fuck yourself too.

Re:Finally! (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438794)

You can make your own biodiesel with vegetable oil, sodium hydroxide and methanol. It costs about $500 to get started(that includes filters, fuel line heaters and enough sodium hydroxide and methanol to produce 200+ gallons of fuel) but once you've got everything together you produce fuel at around $1/gallon.

Re:Finally! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438834)

Running B100 in new, non-PD (Pumpe Duse) VW TDIs is highly inadvisable. They have a whole new high pressure fuel pump and aren't designed to work with it. Warranty voidance is almost guaranteed.

Re:Finally! (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438828)

The VW TDI cars are excellent cars

I agree. I would love to be able to afford a 2 door Golf TDI with a manual transmission, but it is way beyond my price range and they pretty well never show up on the used market. The only diesel car I can afford right now would be a 1980's Benz sedan with 20 trillion miles on it and 30 tubs of bondo holding the doors on.

What I would really like is a Smart fortwo Diesel, but of course those will almost certainly never be brought to the US.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438964)

...30 tubs of bondo holding the doors on...

You gotta cold?

Ohh.. never mind, I get it..

Re:Finally! (1)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438968)

Anything capable of making the doors come off an '80's Mercedes will have destroyed the rest of the car.

Re:Finally! (2)

jemmyw (624065) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438992)

Except that newer european diesels are notoriously unreliable (more so than european cars) after they've racked up the miles. This is mainly because shrinking diesel technology down and making it more powerful requires stronger engine parts than older, larger diesels or petrol engines. This results in a higher failure rate.

Probably fine for new vehicles, and great for fleet cars. But woe betide the second hand buyer.

Re:Finally! (3, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438896)

Unless the price of diesel is damn near double that of gas, you're still coming out ahead...

Re:Finally! (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438962)

Except you can't run even B10 in the TDI! VW ran tests and they fouled the injectors so they won't warranty the engine to run even 10% biodiesel.

Re:Finally! (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439170)

Considering diesel contains 11% more energy I'd say that's a bargain, not to mention that modern diesel's are more efficient than even direct injected variable valved gasoline engines and you will pay less per year on diesel. For 20k miles per year and assuming gas at $4 and diesel at $4.20 the $5k upgrade on the VW Jetta sportswagon pays off over 10 years and the TDI comes with quite a few more features which you basically get for free if you plan to own it that long.

Re:Finally! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439172)

Sorry, diesels in cars have been tried in the US and failed miserably. Anyone who lived in the 1980s or 1990s all remember the slow, smelly Mercedes turbo diesels.

Now VW is putting out the same obnoxious, underpowered, stinky car technology, except because it is made by VW, the hipsters love it. We can hope it goes the way of the dodo just like the previous road stinkers.

I guess diesel cars appeal to some people -- same passive-aggressive drivers who get their boners from holding up cars behind them with a car unable to get to highway speeds safely and gassing passing motorists to boot.

Re:Finally! (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439226)

You fail at math. A diesel VW gets ~ 33% more mileage than its gas counterpart. The price delta percentage-wise is less than 33%.

Re:Finally! (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439278)

Come on, at 40-50 MPG, that extra 2% in fuel cost has to be offset and exceeded by the mileage you're getting. Think as if you were driving a 2000 Dodge Ram getting 12MPG. That $0.20 seems like a drop in the bucket when you're blowing through fuel.

Not So Fast (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439026)

So far they only have lab experiments. Nothing is in production yet. It is quite possible that they will have a similar issue as with hydrocarbons produced by algae. When they tried to scale up to production level contaminants cause the good algae to die. Promising; yes. Production; not yet and maybe never.

Remake (1)

ignavus (213578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438664)

We need a remake of "Gasoline Alley Bred":

Isobutanol Alley Bred.

It'll be another hit. I can see it now.

"Step on the iso and let's get out of here!"

ORNL (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438668)

Just'a good ol' boys, never meanin' no harm.

.

Re:ORNL (2)

jimmydigital (267697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438862)

Exactly... how does this stuff taste I wonder?

Patents, patents, lawsuits... (4, Interesting)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438684)

Yes, isobutanol provides many benefits over ethanol and petrol, but there's bound to be an IP issue pretty much any time these days, as Gevo [gevo.com] is currently finding out. Of course at a time when solutions are needed fast.

Perhaps (un)surprisingly BP is the plaintiff here...

http://corporate.lexisnexis.com/news/corporate-counsel,intellectual-property/cat200003_doc1373404955.html [lexisnexis.com]

Re:Patents, patents, lawsuits... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438796)

Corn is a kind of grass. So this probably means they can use more of it. Which makes some sense I guess.

Re:Patents, patents, lawsuits... (2)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439148)

There is not a lot of IP possible with a organism that occurs naturally, the "magic sauce" only comes into play when they try to engineer the little buggers to eat cellulose rather than starch. In the Clostridium family there are organisms the digest cellulose and organisms that metabolize starch into isobutanol, grow them together and sooner or later the little buggers are going to do the sex thing and exchange DNA amongst themselves; if your lucky you'll get a critter that does both and you've then made an end-run around all of that IP by avoiding the engineering.

Peoples still seem not to get it (-1, Troll)

happyhacker1 (2012734) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438690)

To grow enough fuel to make New York drive on biofuel for a month, we will need to a full year of production
of a field twice the size [tinyurl.com] of Texas.
Its nice, yea, but really, the only way to save our butt from peak oil/global warming is to decrease energy consumption dramaticaly.

Like live next to work, use bicycles, etc...

Remember these Pentium 4D 150 W heaters?

We got your goatse upthread (3, Funny)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438712)

And it wasn't even a functioning goatse. Kids these days.

Re:We got your goatse upthread (1)

happyhacker2 (2012736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438762)

I swear, I tested the site. It just went offline seconds ago. Drat, time to upload hello.jpg to an image hosting site, and...

Re:We got your goatse upthread - fixed (2)

happyhacker2 (2012736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438800)

Switched to different mirror - link works now - enjoy

Re:Peoples still seem not to get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439206)

BS. People can only conserve so much before they will give you the middle finger. For every gallon I save of water, it just means one more gallon the golf course gets.

Want to know how to solve the energy problem? Nuclear reactors. Yes it drives the hippies batshit, but it is carbon neutral, breeder reactor technology means that there is very little high level toxic waste, and it runs constantly day in and day out. To boot, it is scalable.

I laugh when people talk about using bicycles. Good luck with that in most US cities. Of course, I'm sure the answer will be ordering people to sell their suburban homes and move into urban hellholes. There is a reason people GTFO out of city cores, and that is that most cities are unsafe, unless it is a part of town where only the millionaires can afford to live.

Nuclear power is the solution to our energy issues, and the people in the way of it are either oil company shills, or "enviro-whiners" who are brainwashed by the first group.

Peoples still seem not to get it (0)

happyhacker2 (2012736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438720)

To grow enough fuel to make New York drive on biofuel for a month, we will need to a full year of production
of a field twice the size [tinyurl.com] of Texas.
Its nice, yea, but really, the only way to save our butt from peak oil/global warming is to decrease energy consumption dramaticaly.
Like live next to work, use bicycles, etc...

Remember these Pentium 4D 150 W heaters?

Re:Peoples still seem not to get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438814)

OK it probably won't completely replace oil. Big whoop. It can still do some good.

We are currently throwing away a ton of green waste each year. From grass clippings to corn husks we already have bio mass that could be fuel. Lets use it.

Re:Peoples still seem not to get it (1)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438908)

Its nice, yea, but really, the only way to save our butt from peak oil/global warming is to decrease energy consumption dramaticaly.
Like live next to work, use bicycles, etc...

There are many who have no vision. I suggest that you read Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions [google.com] . The western world has a tendency to have entire industries disappear when new technology comes along.

There are a number of significant innovations under development that will make the oil industry (as we know it) obsolete.

I personally am expecting a Tesla-powered [evworld.com] car:

Tesla also investigated harvesting energy that is present throughout space. He believed that it was merely a question of time when men would succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature, stating: "Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe."#56) [wikipedia.org]

This is light-years beyond what's offered by the pretenders [teslamotors.com] to Tesla's legacy.

Re:Peoples still seem not to get it (1)

Burdell (228580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439056)

Like live next to work, use bicycles, etc.

People keep saying this like it is a practical alternative. Everybody just waves a magic wand and <poof> our energy use drops. Basically, that's an idea that is already OBE and isn't going to happen on any large scale in the next few decades. For example, Atlanta is a big example of urban sprawl, with close to six million people in the metro area. How many trillions of dollars would have to be spent to somehow redesign/rebuild/relocate the city and its populace?

Monsanto suppress! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438726)

Subsidies in jeopardy, kill the research!!!! kill the researchers!!!

Hot air will make baloons float too.... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438778)

Its a start, I suppose, but all energy is expensive, messy, and finite when implemented by civilization at large. Perhaps a calorie saved is a calorie earned and we should focus on the social engineering required to organize human lives in a way that does not require so much expenditure of resources, Biological, Green, or Toxic. We require very little as individual biological entities, and yet we consume a million times that much resource in order to drive and fly in circles all day long. Bacterial fuels won't solve the problems we cause by retarded urban planning and lifestyles. Neither will antibiotics, although it might be a deal breaker for the bacteria.

Re:Hot air will make baloons float too.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438818)

You can contribute to saving energy by turning off your computer and not posting anymore.

Octane (1)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438782)

I don't want the octane level in my alcohol to be closer to gasoline. I want high octane numbers so I can either run a higher compression ratio or jack the boost.

Not really news (1)

LavouraArcaica (2012798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438802)

Let me know when is in production. Until there, stop these news. Even myself made hydrogen from water once in the school - but I never selled it to a news site. ;)

How many lobbyists (4, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438830)

are backing this process? Because they're going to be up against some huge opposition from the big agribusiness firms plus Big Oil.

re: lobbyists (0)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439048)

This is what makes me weep when I read these articles. Good ideas will be shut down. Its almost a totalitarian rule, if you will. The more prudent article would be "HOW an alternative energy can go fist to fist with big oil."

Re: lobbyists (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439092)

This stuff will make it out sooner than later. The oil age is going to fizzle quickly -- either through demand-driven depletion, inflationary undersupply or geopolitical instability. Replacements will be in demand and too economically competitive to get stashed away in Warehouse 13 by Big Oil, Inc.

Unlimited power (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438838)

Now, if they came up with GALT bacteria that would convert food into caffeine directly in your (my) gut it would be a real revolution on the global energy market!

repost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438850)

this has been posted a number of times. don't spam us bro.

I'll believe it when I see it. (2)

Sitnalta (1051230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438860)

The real breakthrough we need isn't growing bacterial to produce fuel. We already know how to do that quite well. The trick is scaling it up to practical volumes. Generally speaking bacterial who waste energy on producing fuel for us humans tend to be pretty fragile and finicky.

bacteria ... fragile and finicky? (1)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438918)

Generally speaking bacterial who waste energy on producing fuel for us humans tend to be pretty fragile and finicky.

I'd like to see you try to stay alive in high concentrations of any fuel capable of being produced by bacteria.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it. (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439268)

Generally speaking bacterial who waste energy on producing fuel for us humans tend to be pretty fragile and finicky.

Damn, I guess all thouse brewer's yeasts throughout the millenia never got the memo!

Sorry, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438876)

This is not a substantial improvement over ethanol; the issue is not the fuel quality or energy density. The problem is in separating the alcohol from the water, be it a mixture of H2O/EtOH or H2O/iso-butanol. It is an unavoidable complication of using living organisms to produce a water-soluble fuel. Separation requires extraordinary amounts of energy via distillation. Moreover, alcohols have a tendency to attract water -- and keep it there. This is bad news for things like engines (RUST!) and fuel lines that can get gummed up. I fail to see any reason this is a noteworthy advancement of fuels.

Re:Sorry, but.... (3, Informative)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439260)

First butanol isn't particularly water soluble, 87 g/L at 20 C and its density is 0.802 g/cm3, so it floats on top of the water

Nah, there are better ways (-1, Troll)

happyhacker3 (2012738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438880)

I recently have seen an article [tinyurl.com] about a bacteria that can harvest sunlight and thus turn slowly any fluid into biofuel. Image lakes of it? Or maybe even oceans? Of course that’s just a research, so probably just another non working idea.

Re:Nah, there are better ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439020)

Links to goatse.

Re:Nah, there are better ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439150)

Don't click the link.

Re:Nah, there are better ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35439168)

You mean, don't copy that floppy

Re:Nah, there are better ways (0)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439214)

In Soviet Russia, floppy copy you! /groan

But how can Monsanto profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438886)

Considering ethanol was pushed by Monsanto to give them a market for their genetically tainted corn (given that the EU won't touch it), how can they get their fingers into this new alternative biofuel?

Ethanol sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438888)

I have nothing else useful to say about ethanol. Won't it be nice when the government runs out of funny money and the sheisters vanish back into the holes from whence they emerged?

1995 Honda Civic VX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438890)

How will this affect my Civic's mpg? Increase/decrease/ruin my engine?

From grass? (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438904)

Maybe i could use it to power my lawn mower.

The important question (1)

SirLoadALot (991302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438948)

Can I drink it?

Re:The important question (1)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439084)

Nope - But you can sniff it.

Re:The important question (2)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439158)

Well, it's a liquid, so physically of course you can drink it.

this is god damn dangerous (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438950)

Google, "Klebsiella planticola alcohol". tl;dr this bacterium is important to everything we know and love, namely plants. Some engineers made a version that rapidly decomposed un-needed plant matter and created alcohol at the same time. win-win, or more correctly lose-lose as there was no negative feedback loop in place to stop it from attacking non-dead plant matter. Had it gotten out and infected a plant population it would have turned all plant matter, living or dead into a nice big booze swamp. It would be 40 proof as far as the eye could see, which wouldn't be too far because you would be dead.

Humans are accident prone and short sighted. Can you write code with no bugs the first time?

Re:this is god damn dangerous (1)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439258)

"Can you write code with no bugs the first time?"

Not likely when you dont yet fully understand the programming language.

Now, alongside you (1)

VAElynx (2001046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438996)

your automobile will be able to go far and high on grass.

Another One (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439090)

There's some kind of world-saving bio-energy breakthru just about every day, and yet... no billions of gallons being produced to burn in our cars NOW. Ho... hum... believe it when I see it...

Another fossil fuel? (3, Informative)

readin (838620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439244)

If I understand correctly, one of the major problem with ethanol from corn is that corn requires fertilizer, and fertilizer these days comes from natural gas. Or to put it another way, ethanol is a fossil fuel! One of the other problems with ethanol is that it takes land that could be used for growing food and converts it to land used for growing fuel.

How is this grass-based fuel any different? To make it in large quantities won't we still need fossil fuel based fertilizers and large tracts of land?
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