Caught wind of this story via The Daily Dish. We truly are living in an incredible age. Scientists are now on the verge of creating a completely new type of oil from bugs:
the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.
Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”.
The best part of this is that is renewable, and the bugs will be eating our waste and producing oil that will be interchangeable with current oil.
The company is not interested in using corn as feedstock, given the much-publicised problems created by using food crops for fuel, such as the tortilla inflation that recently caused food riots in Mexico City. Instead, different types of agricultural waste will be used according to whatever makes sense for the local climate and economy: wheat straw in California, for example, or woodchips in the South.
All I can say is that the sooner something like this frees us from our dependence on the Middle Eastern oil reserves, the better. Check it here.