Renewable Petroleum A Replacement for Crude Oil

I came across a very interesting concept that the company LS9 is developing in the fight for sustainability. Apparently, the acids normally excreted by industrial yeast or nonpathogenic E. coli are only a few molecular stages removed from crude oil. By altering the microorganisms DNA, a process that now only takes weeks and is relatively inexpensive, they excrete renewable petroleum, while feeding on agricultural waste. This product requires much less refining than does crude oil, which is an energy intensive process. Additionally on an environmental note, the process of manufacture is carbon negative, consuming greenhouse gasses rather than emitting them. Theoretically, this could end our dependence on foreign oil, while reducing the cost of gasoline and because the product is interchangeable with oil, a re-engineering of the global infrastructure is unnecessary. LS9 will have a scale plant operating in 2010, while designing a commercial facility to open in 2011.

Learn more about it at Times Online