There’s a story at the University of Texas that I think needs to get all the attention possible.  Scientists there have created a new cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae), by adding cellulose making genes from another cellulose making bacterium.  The resulting critter is apparently very good at taking in sunlight for an energy source and producing sugars and cellulose as a byproduct of it’s life cycle.

Those sugars and cellulose can be harvested without killing the organisms, which means that it gets to keep producing.  The resulting cellulose is much easier to process into ethanol than the cellulose that’s obtained from corn because it doesn’t have to be broken down first.

“The huge expense in making cellulosic ethanol and biofuels is in using enzymes and mechanical methods to break cellulose down,” says Nobles. “Using the cyanobacteria escapes these expensive processes.”

This needs to be given a lot of attention quickly and the powers that be shown that yes, there is a way to produce ethanol that doesn’t mean burning up part of our food supply.  All it’s going to take is getting the greedy ^&$@*^#&’s to get off their collective gold plated hindquarters and get this research accelerated and actual full scale commercial production facilities built and operational.

Not to put too fine a point on it, this needs to be shoved down Big Oil’s throat.

Technorati Tags: fuel+crisis, oil+prices, ethanol, food+prices, food+shortages, fuel+from+food, burning+food, clean+ethanol, cheap+ethanol

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