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This could be huge, folks:

A fungus that lives inside trees in the Patagonian rain forest naturally makes a mix of hydrocarbons that bears a striking resemblance to diesel, biologists announced today. And the fungus can grow on cellulose, a major component of tree trunks, blades of grass and stalks that is the most abundant carbon-based plant material on Earth.

Also, this :

Because the fungus can manufacture what we would normally think of as components of crude oil, it casts some doubt on the idea that crude oil is a fossil fuel.

"It may be the case that organisms like this produced some — maybe not all — but some of the world's crude," Strobel said.

So we can actually eat our corn rather than make it into fuel, then toss the sticks and leaves into our vats of fuel-making fungus.

In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves, "Whoah."


Chris

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
bodandra
Nov. 4th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
That is a good thing to know - but, how long will it be before Big Oil admits it?
mckitterick
Nov. 4th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
If they're clever, they'll buy the patents now and start production ASAP.
bodandra
Nov. 4th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
But it is a fungus! A naturally occurring thing. Patents are not allowed in that case. It's like Vitamin C.
mckitterick
Nov. 4th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, good luck arguing that one. Remember how corporations have patented all kinds of DNA sequences? Just sayin'.
mrissa
Nov. 4th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
My dad's working on the water systems for cellulosic ethanol processing. Pretty cool stuff.

Edited at 2008-11-04 05:36 pm (UTC)
mckitterick
Nov. 4th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
Cool indeed!
lazscott
Nov. 4th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
Expect plastics from . . .
algae.
mckitterick
Nov. 4th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Expect plastics from . . .
And "beaf" dinner!
siro_gravity
Nov. 4th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
i'm hoping you found this article in the weekly world news right next to the story about sarah palien, which states:
Following Sarah Palin’s emergence on the national stage, the blogosphere lit up with reports that Governor Palin does not actually hail from Wasilla, Alaska but from a planet known as Wazeela.

The tiny planet, which is located some 37,000 miles due east from the Sun, is known to be rich with fossil fuels that lie beneath snow-capped peaks

i'm joking, of course, but yikes!!...if it were true, then people's interest in developing CLEANER methods of locomotion would vanish.

hm. conclusion: we need to keep chopping down those rainforests.

so
mckitterick
Nov. 4th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Hahahahaha!

On the other hand... hmm, that would explain a lot....
regine735
Nov. 4th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
The crude (organic) had to come from somewhere, so now we've figured out some of how it happened. Very interesting!
mckitterick
Nov. 4th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
I know!
victoria_lane
Nov. 4th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
That seriously blew my mind.
mckitterick
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
I know!
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I considered that, too. However, this could guarantee a transition period when we can grow our own. Since we couldn't be entirely free of oil for decades, something like could at least free us from non-US oil, thus freeing us from Middle-Eastern politics.

And, y'know, come the Apocalypse, this way all of us Mad Maxes out there can carry around our own vat of fuel-makin' goo.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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