Monday, January 23, 2012

This seaweed idea might really work

In some places, there's lots of seaweed.  Add a few of the right nutrients to the right areas, add sunlight, and the stuff grows like the proverbial weed.   So if seaweed could turn into a biofuel crop, that could be a wedge in the battle against the CO2 dilemma.

So now we've got news of a bacterium that can digest seaweed and turn it directly into ethanol.  That is a potential gamebreaker.

Seaweed study fuels bioenergy enthusiasm

"When the team fed alginate to their engineered E. coli, the microbes pumped out ethanol, the researchers report in the Jan. 20 Science. The system yields 80 percent of the theoretical maximum amount of ethanol for a given amount of biomass, the scientists noted, and with further tweaking will probably be even more efficient."

Add more widespread deployment of nuclear power for domestic and industrial energy use, and then we might have something workable.

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