at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference
Newsweek Interview: Craig Venter's CO2-Eating Miracle Bacterium
|his week's issue of Newsweek features an interview with Craig Venter, the "bad boy" of science whose work developing new bacterial strains capable of eating CO2 and producing fuels we've chronicled in recent months, in which he reveals more about his Maryland lab and the innovative processes it's pioneering.|
As we've described before, Venter's overarching goal is to produce microorganisms that are able to "convert things like sugar or sunlight or carbon dioxide into fuels that people are very familiar with, like diesel fuel and gasoline," as he himself put it. These would constitute not only the fabled second- and third-generation biofuels we keep hearing about (like cellulosic ethanol and other plant biomass-derived fuels) but even so-called "fourth-generation" biofuels -- those produced directly from CO2.
Venter hopes his bugs will supplant the need for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies by making CO2 a commodity, instead of a byproduct to be disposed of. According to Venter, large, bacteria-processing fermenters, similar to those used to make beer and wine, would replace traditional refineries. He expects the first generation of his engineered bacteria to be commercially available within the next year or two years. He made it a point to stress that he and his colleagues were thinking "in terms of years, not decades."
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posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 8:32 PM - permanent link
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