Old news, but have you heard about this?

Posted: April 17, 2008 in Science & Research

Researcher: Discovery could end energy crisis

By Jana Cone/reporter

Tifton Gazette

A Tifton agricultural researcher says he has found the solution to the world’s energy crisis through genetic modification and cloning of bacterial organisms that can convert bio-mass into hydrocarbons on a grand scale. The local researcher believes his groundbreaking discovery could result in the production of 500 to 1,000 barrels of hydrocarbon fuel per day from the initial production facility. The hydrocarbon fuel — commonly known as oil or fossil fuel when drilled — will require no modification to automobiles, oil pipelines or refineries as they exist today and could forever end the United States’ dependence on foreign oil, he said.

J.C. Bell, who brought the world powdered peanut butter, has spent the last four years, identifying the bacteria that produces hydrocarbon and then finding a way to genetically alter it so that it could produce hydrocarbon in greater volume.

Bell cited a USDA study that projected it was possible to produce two billion tons of bio-mass that could be converted to hydrocarbon with some modification to agriculture and forestry practices.

Pamela Serino, Chief of the Department of Defense Energy Support Center at Fort Belvoir, Va., said she was very excited about Bell’s technology. “The DOD Energy Support Center is the energy purchasing arm of the defense logistics agency,” Serino said. She said she became acquainted with Bell when he met with a senator about his hydrocarbon research. “We give support to the Hill,” she said. “When he was briefing the senator, we were there to see if his technology was viable.” Serino said her job was to question the science behind the technology. “It looks good to me,” she said.

Serino said she envisions a near future where “we have multiple regional energy sources.” She said the growth in China and India makes the work in bio-energy more critical.

Now that his discoveries have been patented, his corporation formed — Bell Bio-Energy, Inc. — and his government communications established, Bell announced his discoveries to the local press on Friday morning.

“I have received a tremendous amount of support from the state and federal government,” Bell said. “I could not have gotten this far without the help of (U.S. Sen.) Saxby Chambliss, (U.S. Sen.) Johnny Isakson, (Rep.) Jim Marshall, (Rep.) Jack Kingston and Floyd Gabler, the deputy undersecretary of the USDA.” He said, “They have opened doors for me at the Department of Defense and the EPA and EPD.”

Bell said he never considered ethanol for his research. “He who burns his food goes hungry,” Bell said. “That’s an old Chinese proverb.” Instead he concentrated on bio-mass and hydrocarbons. “If it grows it’s bio-mass,” Bell said. Bio-mass is any living or recently dead biological material. Hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Decomposed organic matter provides an abundance of carbon and hydrogen and is naturally occurring in crude oil. (more…)

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