MadSci Network: Environment & Ecology

Re: Genetically engineered plant produces fuel. What yield?

Date: Wed Jun 21 17:02:12 2000
Posted By: Steven Seefeldt, Staff, Crop protection/weed science, AgResearch
Area of science: Environment & Ecology
ID: 954954564.En

Hi Vernon,

I'm a weed scientist and I happen to know quite abit about genetic 
engineering in plants.  I have also heard about genetically engineering 
living organisms to produce fuel.  I do not have all the answers that you 
seek, but I do know where you could go to find them.  Since it appears 
that you are a grad student in environment and ecology I will give you 
some leads (the ones I would follow if I had the time) which should give 
you the last bits of information that you require.

It appears the science involved in engineering organisms to produce fuel 
is zipping right along.  I located three sites that are reports from 
government meetings concerning the technology.  There filled with promises 
of solving the problem of what to do when the oil runs out.

As far as separation of fuels from organisms is concerned.  There is an 
entire branch research focused on that aspect of science, complete with a 
journal and internationa meetings. (Separation chemistry).  Here are some 
useful web sites for that.

But for your purposes, I have uncovered a very interesting web site that 
is full of very recent research proposals.  Many come with references 
which you can locate at your library and all have names of scientists who 
are actively involved in this line of research.  These are the people you 
will need to contact to find out answers to how much fuel do you get per 
day per litre of actively growing bacteria (or whatever).

About 15 years ago I was a science teacher and I used to teach that the 
worlds resources were limited and that we needed to conserve.  Then about 
10 years ago I realized that there were always substitutes for the things 
we use (look at the alternatives to freon for air conditioners).  Often 
these alternative cost more, but if people have the money and they want 
it, then companies will produce it.  Now I worry about how our use of 
technology effects the environment.  People want personal cars, it the oil 
in the world is used up, there are always lots of alternatives (ponds of 
bacteria in every yard, corn stalks, etc).  We will be able to keep our 
personal cars and zip go whenever where ever, it may just cost more to do 
it.  What's the cost to the environment?  Wouldn't the money be better 
spent on world education schemes and insuring everyone has a reasonable 
quality of life?  These of course are all moral issues. and beyond the 
scope of your question.  Hope this gets you going on your search.



Current Queue | Current Queue for Environment & Ecology | Environment & Ecology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Environment & Ecology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2000. All rights reserved.