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#1 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 27 February 2011 - 05:15 PM

Greenery makes diesel fuel

Rocks can make you invisible

Look, ma! I can contain antimatter with no hands!

Obviously these things may not make it on a large scale. But that it can even be done on a small scale is impressive. The future for Star Trek looks bright indeed.... in another 100 years.
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#2 forsandifs   Members   -  Reputation: 154

Posted 27 February 2011 - 06:11 PM

Interesting reads :)

There are conspiracy theories that renewable energy is not further developed than it is because there are powerful vested interests in the current fossil fuel business, and therefore against renewable energies. I wonder if the "greenery to diesel" tech would suffer from something similar?

#3 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1764

Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:42 PM

Oh, what a great idea. Fields that naturally give off toxic, and flammable, fluids,...

I can see someone really thought that one through before starting work. Just think of how fun it will be if they spill and get into the wild.
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#4 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 29294

Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:58 PM

There are conspiracy theories that renewable energy is not further developed than it is because there are powerful vested interests in the current fossil fuel business, and therefore against renewable energies.

That's not a conspiracy theory, it's common knowledge -- e.g. lots of alternative energy inventions are patent-horded by those "powerful vested interests"...

#5 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:51 PM

Oh, what a great idea. Fields that naturally give off toxic, and flammable, fluids,...

I can see someone really thought that one through before starting work. Just think of how fun it will be if they spill and get into the wild.


How is this any more risky than a well that could throw burning liquid from underground everywhere?

#6 forsandifs   Members   -  Reputation: 154

Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:58 AM

Oh, what a great idea. Fields that naturally give off toxic, and flammable, fluids,...

I can see someone really thought that one through before starting work. Just think of how fun it will be if they spill and get into the wild.


Actually, when you put it that way... good point :P Not just because of the risk of burning. Its also a question of ethics and upsetting of the natural balance I think. Normally one associates greenery with healthy environment. If these things got out into the wild and spread far and wide, thus invalidating that association, that would be quite disturbing.

That's not a conspiracy theory, it's common knowledge -- e.g. lots of alternative energy inventions are patent-horded by those "powerful vested interests"...


Didn't realise it is provable. But now you mention it I suppose its not too difficult.

#7 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2104

Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:46 AM

One full tank (car tank thingy) of biodiesel = 1 year of food for a human. (seen on TV)

#8 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:08 AM

One full tank (car tank thingy) of biodiesel = 1 year of food for a human. (seen on TV)


Is this the famous "Food for Oil" program?
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#9 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:33 AM

One full tank (car tank thingy) of biodiesel = 1 year of food for a human. (seen on TV)


that depends a lot on what it's being made out of, whether it's already being used for something else, and where it's being grown.

It doesn't appear to need farm land, which is also the case for algal deisel, but it's also 4 times as efficient in its estimation. 15,000 barrels of diesel fuel, with no need to be further refined mind you, per year per acre is pretty huge. An acre isn't that enormous. It could be easily housed on top of medium sized buildings.

I also doubt they would create the organism to survive outside a very specific set of circumstances, so I don't think it will be ravaging our forests turning them all into gasoline.

#10 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2104

Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:39 AM


One full tank (car tank thingy) of biodiesel = 1 year of food for a human. (seen on TV)


Is this the famous "Food for Oil" program?


It's the famous um.... food... hunger whatever program on the famous um... Discovery or Nat Geo Channel. Or something like that on one of those....

#11 GMuser   Members   -  Reputation: 211

Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:32 PM

I was hoping to see a video of the paper clip disappear. Or at least time lapse if it's a slow process. I want to see how invisible it really is.

#12 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1764

Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:55 PM


Oh, what a great idea. Fields that naturally give off toxic, and flammable, fluids,...

I can see someone really thought that one through before starting work. Just think of how fun it will be if they spill and get into the wild.


How is this any more risky than a well that could throw burning liquid from underground everywhere?


Small bits of oil that get missed during a clean up don't spread across ecosystems and reproduce, and they don't transmute into new, potentially more hazardous lifeforms.
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#13 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:26 PM

Small bits of oil that get missed during a clean up don't spread across ecosystems and reproduce, and they don't transmute into new, potentially more hazardous lifeforms.

You are assuming that its capable of living in non-controlled natural habitats though.

How many of the planets ecosystems can support a lifeform that requires 80 degree nutrient rich non-saline water and full sunlight?

#14 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1764

Posted 01 March 2011 - 08:43 PM


Small bits of oil that get missed during a clean up don't spread across ecosystems and reproduce, and they don't transmute into new, potentially more hazardous lifeforms.

You are assuming that its capable of living in non-controlled natural habitats though.

How many of the planets ecosystems can support a lifeform that requires 80 degree nutrient rich non-saline water and full sunlight?


I don't know. But how many ecosystems can support such a lifeform after it has been exposed to the ecosystem in question, and does what all life does best, and adapts to it?
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#15 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2104

Posted 02 March 2011 - 01:21 AM

Well, energy-reed (or whatever its name is) is one of the toughest and most aggressive plants.
It's like playing with The Giant Hogweed (end of teh wordl as we no it)...

#16 Prefect   Members   -  Reputation: 373

Posted 02 March 2011 - 01:58 AM

Small bits of oil that get missed during a clean up don't spread across ecosystems and reproduce, and they don't transmute into new, potentially more hazardous lifeforms.


If you're worried about those modified bacteria spreading, you seriously have bigger fish to fry. Using genetically modified bacteria to produce specific molecules is a completely normal part of modern pharmaceutical production. I don't see why those diesel-producing bacteria should be any more or less dangerous than this other technology which has already been in widespread use for a very long time.

Note that of course it's reasonable to worry about unwanted spread of such things - but to reject the development outright because of it is just as stupid as being totally careless about it.
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#17 Jan Wassenberg   Members   -  Reputation: 999

Posted 05 March 2011 - 08:29 AM

Using genetically modified bacteria to produce specific molecules is a completely normal part of modern pharmaceutical production.

Sure, but that's in a factory, whereas I assume wide-scale production of this stuff would occur in much less controlled environments.

There are also several problems with bioethanol as fuel for (older) gasoline motors:
1) about 10% of current models can sustain serious damage after a single tankful (corroding aluminum, dissolving gaskets)
2) it only has 2/3 the energy density of gasoline => 1..1.9% less mileage, worse acceleration, higher engine RPMs and increased wear
3) There don't seem to be any long-term studies of the effects on current cars - they're less vulnerable to the corrosion and gasket issues, but who knows what else. The differences in additives and volatilization might also be relevant, but I'm definitely out of my depth here. Anyway, it seems foolish to lean on the bioethanol crutch (with unknown side effects) rather than focusing on true alternatives to fossil fuels.

Sources:
http://www.focus.de/...aid_601141.html
http://www.oldtimer-...x.php?Seite=111
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#18 Sudi   Members   -  Reputation: 704

Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:14 AM

Using genetically modified bacteria to produce specific molecules is a completely normal part of modern pharmaceutical production.

Sure, but that's in a factory, whereas I assume wide-scale production of this stuff would occur in much less controlled environments.

There are also several problems with bioethanol as fuel for (older) gasoline motors:
1) about 10% of current models can sustain serious damage after a single tankful (corroding aluminum, dissolving gaskets)
2) it only has 2/3 the energy density of gasoline => 1..1.9% less mileage, worse acceleration, higher engine RPMs and increased wear
3) There don't seem to be any long-term studies of the effects on current cars - they're less vulnerable to the corrosion and gasket issues, but who knows what else. The differences in additives and volatilization might also be relevant, but I'm definitely out of my depth here. Anyway, it seems foolish to lean on the bioethanol crutch (with unknown side effects) rather than focusing on true alternatives to fossil fuels.

Sources:
http://www.focus.de/...aid_601141.html
http://www.oldtimer-...x.php?Seite=111


Well you know that we already grow genetically alltered plants all over the world producing our food? I really think people have to step away from the view keep everything as it is. You know maybe we could change the place into something better someday. Of course polluting the atmosphere is not helping there^^
Anyway the problem you described there with bioethanol is probably not a problem with this way of producing it. normally bio ethanol is created by destroying plants and using the biomass to produce the alcohol. But here the ethanol is produced directly inside the plant during photosynthesis so its actually a clean product and they can make just like the real stuff. Its like putting together the molecules by hand^^yeah not really...

Btw: alternative to fossil fuels...this could actually work pretty good. imagine a powerplant burning this fuel to create energy and the CO2 is directly used again by the bakteria to produce new fuel......only energy source needed would be the sun.of course i dunno how much energy they can actually convert and if this power plant would be more efficent as a solarpower plant. But if it would work and even if it produced less energy then the solorpanels it would definetly be cheaper i guess.

#19 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:33 AM

Using genetically modified bacteria to produce specific molecules is a completely normal part of modern pharmaceutical production.

Sure, but that's in a factory, whereas I assume wide-scale production of this stuff would occur in much less controlled environments.

There are also several problems with bioethanol as fuel for (older) gasoline motors:
1) about 10% of current models can sustain serious damage after a single tankful (corroding aluminum, dissolving gaskets)
2) it only has 2/3 the energy density of gasoline => 1..1.9% less mileage, worse acceleration, higher engine RPMs and increased wear
3) There don't seem to be any long-term studies of the effects on current cars - they're less vulnerable to the corrosion and gasket issues, but who knows what else. The differences in additives and volatilization might also be relevant, but I'm definitely out of my depth here. Anyway, it seems foolish to lean on the bioethanol crutch (with unknown side effects) rather than focusing on true alternatives to fossil fuels.

Sources:
http://www.focus.de/...aid_601141.html
http://www.oldtimer-...x.php?Seite=111

The organism they created can create ethanol OR diesel fuel. It is not just ethanol. That's part of the reason it's such a significant discovery.

Link in the OP.

#20 Jan Wassenberg   Members   -  Reputation: 999

Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:09 AM

Well you know that we already grow genetically alltered plants all over the world producing our food?

You say that as if it might be surprising (large majorities of consumers in Europe are aware of and opposed to GM food, at least until the consequences are better understood) or a good thing.
Let's see what the National Research Council's "Committee on Identifying and Assessing Unintended Effects of Genetically Engineered Foods on Human Health" (http://www.nap.edu/c...record_id=10977) has to say about this:

All evidence evaluated to date indicates that unexpected and unintended compositional changes arise with all forms of genetic modification, including genetic engineering.

There is a need, in the committee’s judgment, for a broad research and technology development agenda to improve methods for predicting, identifying, and assessing unintended health effects from the genetic modification of food.

So which unintended and unforeseen consequences have arisen in the intervening years?
http://www.globalres...xt=va&aid=12432
Oops, looks like it can negatively impact soil microbes and quality.

Another retrospective from the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (http://www.nap.edu/c...record_id=12804) says:

The first generation of genetically engineered (GE) crops has mostly delivered effective pest control for a few major crops because farmers producing these crops spend a lot of time and money on the task, because the firms developing the new seed technologies saw considerable profit potential in doing so, and because adding the traits was relatively straightforward [..]. The first generation of GE crops continues a reliance on pesticide technology—in-plant toxins or resistance to herbicides—to mitigate pest problems primarily in corn, cotton, and soybean. Thus, the application of genetic-engineering technology to crops has not developed novel means of pest control, such as developing plant mechanisms to resist pest damage

So our savior that will supposedly secure the future of agriculture and feed mankind is a new pesticide ("Roundup" := glyphosate) that can be used because plants have been engineered to resist its effects.

However, glyphosate is often applied in higher doses and with greater frequency than the herbicides it replaced. [..]
Ten species have evolved resistance to glyphosate independently in glyphosate-resistant crops over 14 years in the United States (from 1996 to 2010) (Heap, 2010). [..] the nearly exclusive reliance on glyphosate for weed control, a practice accelerated by the widespread introduction of glyphosate-resistant crop varieties, has caused substantial changes in weed communities.

What a big surprise, the quick and easy chemical solution works for a short time and then loses its effectiveness. When will people learn that there is no silver bullet?!

Among the known social facts associated with the dissemination of GE crops are the continued consolidation of the seed industry and its integration with the chemical industry. Another is the change in relationships between farmers and their seed suppliers. Testimony to the committee suggested that farmers of major crops have fewer opportunities to purchase non-GE seed of the best-yielding cultivars even when a GE trait is not perceived to be required in a particular cropping situation.

And there we have one of the apparent driving forces behind GM - corporate greed.
I would be a lot more confident in the technology if it were at least extensively tested before commercialization, which probably necessitates the public sector. Fortunately, China is starting to invest heavily there, so maybe we will see improvements actually aimed at feeding people instead of profits.

I really think people have to step away from the view keep everything as it is.

Straw man argument.

But here the ethanol is produced directly inside the plant during photosynthesis so its actually a clean product and they can make just like the real stuff.

The problems listed in my previous post apply to pure ethanol, regardless of its source.
I'm not sure whether this bioethanol counts as such, since the article mentions problems separating it from water.

The organism they created can create ethanol OR diesel fuel. It is not just ethanol. That's part of the reason it's such a significant discovery.

Yep, I saw that in the article, but it also mentions "Jaguars and jet engines". Granted, there are apparently Diesel-fueled Jaguars, but jet engine is still a stretch despite the existence of multi-fuel tank turbines.
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