Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol

Silicon Valley is experimenting with bacteria that have been genetically altered to provide ‘renewable petroleum’

I saw this a little while back in another publication. Also, there is algae that will produce gasoline and jet fuel that is going to come on-line soon. Make you wonder how the notion that Oil came from dinosaurs.

Oil is actually a renewable resource. Only in the past it took thousands of years to produce it from carbon based life forms. Maybe that cycle can be reduced.

next earth day we can all go out and kill dinosaurs and bury them in tar pits, and crush some green plants to begin the process. sounds like something our youth group would enjoy.

sounds like a cool video game;)


Let me see if I’ve got this right. You take tricked-out bugs that you grow on petri dishes, and straw or sawdust goes in one end and #4 Bunker crude comes out the other? Where do I sign up!..

Finally, the discovery of a use for a Liberal.

We do excrete natural gas.

Do you really want to go there? :rolleyes:

We don’t make that gas we excrete, but what does is a starting point for something that could have potential. Then again that sort of the basis of the OP.

Maybe they can be paired with the oil-eating bacteria used to clean up spills, and we’ll have a somewhat closed system, a circle of life. Or at least a circle of oil.

And if they are released in the wild by accident they could convert biomass everywhere into oil! Imagine oil spills that increase over time instead of decrease due to biologic activity.

This could be revolutionary, but let’s be careful!


I will be interested when the calculate yield per acre in barrels per year. That will tell its viability.

While it’s true that biotechnology is not without its problems, perhaps there are ways around such a scenario - engineer the bugs to be nonreproductive and short-lived (so even if any do escape they can’t breed and die off before they can do too much damage).

Now that I think about it, it might really matter what exactly it uses as an energy source. We can through brew’s yeast out there, but not get everything to turn into beer. On the other hand if something really is going to be effective to be revolutionary, it can convert a lot of stuff into oil, then it could be a problem in the environment. If it can break down cellulose then that might be good. We can eat our corn and harvest the rest.

I guess to be make an impact it may be good to be able to convert carbon dioxide into oil. I think the only good way to do that is to tap into available potiental energy would be to use sunlight, which may have it’s limits.

There is already technologies that will turn cellulose into ethanol. This would give another option.

We need more technologies like this … energy efficient … low negative impact … innocuous … no smokestacks. Pretty cool. A couple of plastic trash cans behind the house; dump in your kitchen waste and grass clippings and the stuff from your cat’s litter box; add the “starter” enzyme buggies; and just wait to pour off your gasoline.

AND the gummint isn’t involved. No bureaucracy. No government grants. No folderol.

Doesn’t get any better than that.

sept of course, when you do the mass balance, oil has a lot more carbon than our garbage and grass clippings. Not to mention the carbon that will be consumed by the bugs. I doubt one household could produce enough garbage to produce the oil it needs. That would make for an interesting scenario. People stealing trash to make their fuel.

Heck with the locking gas cap, gaurd your trash!


We don’t need no stinkin’ “mass balance”.

“Guard your trash!” … you got THAT right!!

oh yes, many members of our youth group can do that.

so I guess we are all going to be driving cars with ant farms under the hood?

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