Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tech Watch

Joule Biotechnologies
has announced what could be quite a revolution in 3rd generation biofuels. They claim to have created a process using engineered microorganisms that can convert CO2 and sunlight directly into fuel.

This eco-friendly, direct-to-fuel conversion requires no agricultural land or fresh water, and leverages a highly scalable system capable of producing more than 20,000 gallons of renewable ethanol or hydrocarbons per acre annually—far eclipsing productivity levels of current alternatives while rivaling the costs of fossil fuels.
They claim to be able to one day compete with $50 per barrel oil and are forecasting commercial scale ethanol production in 2010.

Liquid fuel technology will continue to play a pivotal role in transportation until battery technology is radically improved. If able to scale, this seems to be a great way to keep downward pressure on fuel costs, recycle CO2, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, and perhaps export technology and clean fuel around the globe.

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