Greg Pal, 33, a senior director of the company LS9 located in the Silicon Valley introduced what he calls “renewable petroleum”.
Scientist genetically modified E-coli bacteria in order to create petroleum. The trial was a success and the first bacteria eating agricultural waste and excreting oil was cultivated.
The company claims that this “Oil 2.0” will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.
Today most of the alternative biofuels of the US come from Corn. But as this biological energy source is heavily controversial LS9 is looking for other agricultural waste intending to tailore every region according to its particular needs in terms of climate and economy. For instance wheat straw in the East or woodchips in the South of the US.
If someone can produce bacteria at a large maybe global-scale, we would be one step closer to find a sustainable crude oil substitute. But right now we should maybe focus the oil eating bacteria to overcome our oil catastrophe in the Gulf from Mexico.