Are We Alone – Fuel’s Paradise

by Gary Niederhoff on April 25, 2011

You know the joke about the car and the snail. Look at that escargot? Well, snails may be the only thing not powering the automobiles of the future. Trees, grass, algae, even the garbage you toss on the sidewalk has potential for conversion into biofuel. What is America’s next top model fuel? Join us on a tour of the contenders.

Meet a man who’s mad about miscanthus … an astrobiologist’s attraction to algae… and the blueprint for building your own biofuel bugs.

Also, discover whether any of these next-generation fuel sources could take us to the stars. Put that in your rocket and burn it!

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Madhu Khanna on biofuel production.
Part 2: Stephen Long on miscanthus.
Part 3: Bret Stroegn on ethanol.
Part 4: Madhu Khanna on biofuel vs food production.
Part 5: Jonathan Trent on algae biofuel.
Part 6: Madhu Khanna on biofuel from waste.
Part 7: Madhu Khanna on energy policy.
Part 8: Michelle Chang on microbial butanol.
Part 9: Madhu Khanna on synthetic biology.
Part 10: Richard Obousy on rocket biofuel.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Geekoid April 29, 2011 at 7:41 am

Whenever people talk about bio-fuels they always seem to avoid the practical numbers.

How many acres of a product do we need to grow the mass no to give use all the fuels we currently use?
1 acre of corn = 328 gallons of fuel.
We use about 390 Million gallons a day. If 1 gallon of bio-fuel gave use the same as 1 gallon of gas, we would need to harvest well over a million acres a day to meet our use. It would seem to me that makes bio-fuels that take up farm land untenable.
Yes, there are product that have more density, but even if it was 100 time more, we would still need to harvest 10,000 acres per day just for fuel.

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