Tuesday, February 5, 2008

infrared plants, bio-crude

two more exciting developments in the race to secure an energy future:

the genome of an unusual bacteria that can capture near infrared light has been sequenced. the hope is that we'll eventually be able transfer this ability to other plants, increasing their ability to capture light by around 5%, allowing them to capture more CO2 and convert it to useful products.

a new process to convert waste biomass into bio-crude has been developed in Australia. the idea is that it is inefficient to transport large amounts of waste to central processing locations, so they take the process to the waste, convert it to an energy-dense and easily transported bio-crude, then transport that to the next processor, who could convert it to anything from plastic bottles to biodiesel. this isn't the first process along these lines, but the developers claim that it is the best.

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