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View Full Version : Joule Unlimited's cyanobacterium produces diesel @ $30/barrel



chef
02 March 2011, 2155
"Joule claims, for instance, that its cyanobacterium can produce 15,000 gallons of diesel full per acre annually, over four times more than the most efficient algal process for making fuel. And they say they can do it at $30 a barrel.
...
If we're half right, this revolutionizes the world's largest industry, which is the oil and gas industry"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41809286


I'm taking wagers on which oil megacorp will try to quash this by buying them up or blocking them by other means. Then there's always the issue of whether this can scale up to the massive production levels needed to meet demand.

ZoomSmith
02 March 2011, 2231
Yeah, why grow food when you produce a real cash crop.

chef
02 March 2011, 2311
15k gallons = 357 barrels. At $30/barrel, that's a production cost of $10k per year (prob not counting capital investments). Sold at wholesale prices that's roughly approximately guesstimatingly $30k gross, resulting in $20k per acre per year profit. That sounds like a tidy profit, though I don't know how it compares to other crops.

We have plenty of land to grow food for the US population. Problem is the US also grows food to feed a large portion of the rest of the world. The US has so much output that food prices are inordinately cheap, enabling even the poorest countries to prop up a large population. As with oil, it's not a sustainable model. As energy costs go up, food goes along with it and it hits the poor the hardest. Take Haiti for instance. After the quake shut down their port, people were starving because they couldn't import enough rice (can't remember the exact figure but it was huge, something like a giant tanker full of rice every day). Countries need to understand the importance of producing enough food locally for their people. The cheap food train will end for them and it may be sooner than they realize. In fact the recent uprisings in the middle are believed to be fueled by skyrocketing food prices (http://www.cnbc.com/id/41317486/Food_Riots_Is_Bernanke_Partially_to_Blame).

Hey if they don't want to grow food, maybe they can start growing diesel and sell it to us :p