Geneticist Creates Life Form That Turns CO2 To Fuel

Stalker2

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Jun 7, 2001
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Famed geneticist creating life form that turns CO2 to fuel
Thu Feb 28, 3:57 PM ET


MONTEREY, California (AFP) - A scientist who mapped his genome and the genetic diversity of the oceans said Thursday he is creating a life form that feeds on climate-ruining carbon dioxide to produce fuel.

Geneticist Craig Venter disclosed his potentially world-changing "fourth-generation fuel" project at an elite Technology, Entertainment and Design conference in Monterey, California.
"We have modest goals of replacing the whole petrochemical industry and becoming a major source of energy," Venter told an audience that included global warming fighter Al Gore and Google co-founder Larry Page.
"We think we will have fourth-generation fuels in about 18 months, with CO2 as the fuel stock."
Simple organisms can be genetically re-engineered to produce vaccines or octane-based fuels as waste, according to Venter.

LINK: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080228/ts_afp/scienceusitgenetics
 

JoeyDVDZ

That's MR. MOJO, Motherfucker!
Aug 20, 2004
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#2
Anyone read about what this guy wants the 4th gen fuel byproduct to be? Methane. What happens if this dude succeeds, and these bio-engineered methane creation engines get out into the wild and have access to all the Co2 in the air, and create shitloads of methane? Some poor schmuck lights a lucky, we're all blown to shit. Great!
 

THE FEZ MAN

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Aug 23, 2002
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#3
sounds more like perpetual motion to me
 
Apr 14, 2003
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#4
I counted at least 6 dings in that article.

"We have modest goals of replacing the whole petrochemical industry and becoming a major source of energy"
He'll be dead in less than a year.
 

Jimmy's Dignity

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I counted at least 6 dings in that article.
Geneticist guy said:
"We have modest goals of replacing the whole petrochemical industry and becoming a major source of energy"
He'll be dead in less than a year.
he's a deadman alright....but I'm still taking $5 on the over.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#8
at fist read, it does.

believe it when i see it.
the buy product of its self burning is its fuel, one of the buy products of combustion is co2
 

Plunkies

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Jun 28, 2006
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The link does a bit of exaggerating about how this will be the next big thing, as the news always does, and the guy seems a bit too optimistic. But there's no claim to perpetual motion and there's not enough information to make that assumption in the article. There's already organisms that can do what he wants, he just wants to make them bigger or more efficient through genetic engineering. It doesn't mention what the organisms will need to survive, and where the energy will come from to convert the co2 into fuel though.

There's definitely a future in using organisms to make fuel extraction from various sources more efficient.
 

Schmed

I'm a corpse without a soul...
Nov 4, 2002
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#12
Then there will not be any CO2 left for plant kingdom to feed on, which they in turn emit O2, giving way so the animal kingdom can breathe.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#13
were doomed, and he better not eat at the buffet
 

Ego

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Feb 15, 2005
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#14
A warning to this man: Don't drink anything you didn't pour yourself, from a container you didn't open yourself, and/or from a cup you haven't thoroughly cleaned yourself. Same goes for eating.
 

VMS

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Apr 26, 2006
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The link does a bit of exaggerating about how this will be the next big thing, as the news always does, and the guy seems a bit too optimistic. But there's no claim to perpetual motion and there's not enough information to make that assumption in the article. There's already organisms that can do what he wants, he just wants to make them bigger or more efficient through genetic engineering. It doesn't mention what the organisms will need to survive, and where the energy will come from to convert the co2 into fuel though.

There's definitely a future in using organisms to make fuel extraction from various sources more efficient.
Absolutely. IMO, the real question is the ratio between the energy to produce/harvest this fuel source vs. the energy you get FROM the fuel source, and just how much genetic tinkering you have to do to get there.

I think there was a Popular Science/Mechanics article on using algae as a biodiesel (this could be the same guy), and it made perfect sense. It's just kind of tricky to get enough fuel out of the process to make it worthwhile, but algae is probably a lot more efficient than the corn-based biodiesel that is being pushed right now, and we can grow it in sealed containers in the desert.

If this guy is able to engineer the right kind of algae that could "self distill" into the ethanol that diesels can run off of, this can work.

In the end, it's a lot like the process that gave us crude oil in the first place, but without the long lead time.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#16
Absolutely. IMO, the real question is the ratio between the energy to produce/harvest this fuel source vs. the energy you get FROM the fuel source, and just how much genetic tinkering you have to do to get there.

I think there was a Popular Science/Mechanics article on using algae as a biodiesel (this could be the same guy), and it made perfect sense. It's just kind of tricky to get enough fuel out of the process to make it worthwhile, but algae is probably a lot more efficient than the corn-based biodiesel that is being pushed right now, and we can grow it in sealed containers in the desert.

If this guy is able to engineer the right kind of algae that could "self distill" into the ethanol that diesels can run off of, this can work.

In the end, it's a lot like the process that gave us crude oil in the first place, but without the long lead time.
yea i saw something similar on discovery a few months back , there turning toxic waste into bio diesel with alge, the system and theroy looked solid enough the corn based system just sucks, theres so many other materials that are better suited but for some reason were stuck on corn, i think it has to do with farmers not wanting to change how they farm and harvest, also so the can take from the highest bidders instead of being stuck with only something that is good only for fuel
 

unklewilly

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Nov 13, 2006
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#17
I hear someone from the Pentagon is interested in seeing his invention...
 

Treat_Yourself

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Nov 17, 2006
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the buy product of its self burning is its fuel, one of the buy products of combustion is co2
Plants do it. They take in CO2, use solar energy collected by the leaves and turn it into cellulose, lignin, starches, fats and sugars. All of those can be burned to release energy and CO2. It's not a perpetual motion machine because it relies on sunlight to pump new energy into the system. No new energy from light and the system stops.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#19
Plants do it. They take in CO2, use solar energy collected by the leaves and turn it into cellulose, lignin, starches, fats and sugars. All of those can be burned to release energy and CO2. It's not a perpetual motion machine because it relies on sunlight to pump new energy into the system. No new energy from light and the system stops.
The trick is to have one (or at least as few as possible) organism to produce the starches and then turn the starches into alcohol or vegetable oil, with as little work outside the big clear tank of water and organisms.

The system I saw before was a big clear tank filled with water, some nutrients, and algae. Once the algae grew, then there were all sorts of refining, distilling, pressing, whatever to get a usable product.

If you could genegineer an organism that you could just toss into one of those tanks with water and some sugars, leave it out in the sun for a few months, and then pour out either ethanol or vegetable oil out the other end, you'd be making money hand over fist.

Most of the energy cost associated with corn ethanol is with having to harvest it, then grind it, then distill it, etc., etc., to get the ethanol. If you could get a nice little organism that would do all of that itself before it croaks, you'd be money.

THAT'S your motherfucking holy grail, my friends.