Biofuels: Poultry, Germs and Algae

Graphic (artist uncredited) from Scott Harper's 9/2/07 story in the Virginian -Pilot, "Next in biofuels: Poultry power."

My correspondent via John Dufresne, Joe from Cheese, TX, alerted me Sunday to Elizabeth Svoboda's (website, email) piece in the February 2008 Fastcompany.com, "Fueling The Future: The oil well of tomorrow may be in a California lab full of genetically modified, diesel-spewing bacteria." (Issue 122, page 45), via a blog post by Scott Streater (email), the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram’s environmental reporter.

According to Svoboda, the fuel produced by the San Carlos, California company LS9's

microbes is virtually pump-ready -- requiring only a simple cleaning step to filter out impurities -- making bacteria fuel uses 65 percent less energy than making ethanol, which needs extensive chemical processing that drives up its price and damages its good-for-the-planet cred... [and] LS9's finished product also has 50 percent more energy content -- a gallon of bacteria fuel would last your car about 50 percent longer than a gallon of ethanol.
Closer to home, Virginia Tech, here in Blacksburg, is experimenting with poultry poop, according to the Virginian Pilot (see link accompanying the illustration at the top of this entry.) And then there's algae at Old Dominion University.

The library's closing, so I'll wrap this up, but until I get back, check out this archive of articles on Virginia's biofuels and more at the Virginia Coastal Energy Consortium.