DailyDirt: Storing Energy In Organic Molecules

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Petroleum products are a pretty convenient way to store energy. It's just unfortunate that burning the stuff releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Biofuels could be a solution, but relying on natural biological processes can be difficult to scale up -- especially if we expect biofuels to try to match up with the current energy demands. Researchers are working on ways to modify biology or circumvent it with chemical engineering to make some carbon neutral hydrocarbon fuels in large quantities. Here are a few possible examples. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: bacteria, biofuel, biotech, carbon dioxide, electricity, energy, ethanol, extremophiles, fuel, hydrocarbons, petroleum, propane


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2014 @ 7:32pm

    uh, why propane when bacteria already make plenty of methane?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      CK20XX (profile), 16 Sep 2014 @ 8:55pm

      Re:

      The difference between propane and natural gas is like the difference between gasoline and crude oil. It's just better and more useful all-around when refined from its natural state. Of particular note, methane is a harmful greenhouse gas while propane is not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 17 Sep 2014 @ 1:06am

    Bugs Feeding Only On Electricity May Live, But They Cannot Grow And Reproduce

    Just thought I’d point that out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 2:37am

    "Petroleum products are a pretty convenient way to store energy."

    How do we store energy in those products?

    I left a can of regular gas plugged in overnight and it didn't even turn into high-test.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jim, 17 Sep 2014 @ 5:08am

    Eh?

    Some problems, CO2 is a good gas, plants use it to produce foodstuffs for animals. I like to eat animals, therefore good gas. Second problem, is if cardox is bad, why try to produce more synthetically, making it more expensive to obtain. Now I would agree to more efficient systems, less wasted heat for the amount of gas consumed. Redesigned systems to capture the waste heats and produce something usehul from that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:54am

      Re: Eh?

      "CO2 is a good gas, plants use it to produce foodstuffs for animals. I like to eat animals, therefore good gas."

      This is much too simplistic. CO2 is a gas that has both good and bad effects. As with most chemicals, whether it's good or bad depends on a combination of things -- mostly where it is and how much of it is there.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 17 Sep 2014 @ 11:27am

    Carbon dioxide to ethanol at room temperature

    Combine that copper catalyst process that converts carbon monoxide to ethanol, with this Brookhaven room temperature process for converting carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide, and you would really have something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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