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Posts tagged “LS9”

By Robert Rapier on Feb 4, 2010 with 1 response

Biofuel Developments

I woke up in Switzerland this morning after having spent the past 3 days in the Netherlands. Later today I travel to Germany. The weather here is cold. I love Europe, but do not miss riding my bike in rain that is 1 degree above freezing (as I had to do in the Netherlands on Tuesday). Switzerland is blanketed with snow; the country from the air looks like a Christmas card. I have been told that there is even more snow in Dresden, which is my next stop. I have been trying to keep up on energy news, and there have been some interesting developments. The previous essay has also hit the 200 comment mark (Blogger is clearly not designed… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 21, 2009 with no responses

A New Approach to Biogasoline

My ideal microbe for biofuel production would consume garbage, excrete gasoline, and die if it escapes into the wild. Excretion of longer chain hydrocarbons like gasoline would enable a less energy-intensive separation, because the product would phase out of water. LS9 is exploring this sort of pathway via microbes, and Virent is trying to do the same thing catalytically. It is quite a challenging problem, but should be technically viable. And a company that can achieve an edge in this space could really dominate the biofuels arena. As I have said, it is difficult, but Holy Grail research. Today a new and quite novel approach was announced in the Journal of the American Chemical Society: Synthesis of Methyl Halides from… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 13, 2008 with no responses

Amyris is Looking Promising

As I have said before, an ideal biofuel would be one that phases out of water, and is therefore much less energy intensive to separate. One of the big energy sinks in ethanol production involves an energy intensive separation of ethanol from water. If ethanol was insoluble it would phase out of solution and could be skimmed off and separated for a fraction of the energy input. This is the sort of model that companies like LS9 and Virent have adopted. They are using microorganisms to produce longer-chain hydrocarbons that not only are much easier to separate from water, but also have higher energy density. I have commented in the past that this is ‘Holy Grail’ stuff, but also would… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 17, 2008 with no responses

LS9 Stock

There was a major story a few days ago about LS9 in the Times Online: Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol I have previously written several articles that mentioned LS9, including: LS9′s Oil-Crapping Bugs Apparently as a result of the Times article, there have been a number of articles in the past couple of days on LS9. This naturally attracted the attention of investors, and I have literally had hundreds of hits to my LS9 story by people Googling LS9 stock. In fact, right now if you Google that (without quotation marks), my story comes up at the top of the first page. So, in an effort to provide investors what they are looking for (the other… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 28, 2008 with no responses

Green Job Opportunities

Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to “make a difference” by making a significant contribution to society. I have a soft spot for families and especially for kids, and I really wanted to contribute toward the quality of life for those groups. A big concern is that quality of life for a large segment of the world’s population, never good to begin with, is poised for further deterioration as fossil fuel supplies deplete. Quality of life to me starts with the basics: People have enough food and clean water, they have shelter, they live and work in safe conditions, and they have adequate access to affordable energy. At various stages of my life I have had involvement… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 22, 2007 with no responses

My Top 10 Energy Stories of 2007

First, thanks to all who contributed ideas. You may have an entirely different opinion on the most important energy stories. Feel free to share it. Many of these stories were contributed by various readers. Comments by readers are italicized. If you want to know who wrote what, you can see the entire comment thread here. Here are my Top 10 Energy Stories of 2007 1. Oil price soars as media becomes Peak Oil aware One reason I felt pretty safe in making the $1,000 bet on oil prices is that a move from $60 – the price in January – to $100 – the price at which I would lose the bet – would be unprecedented. Of course a worldwide… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 15, 2007 with no responses

Help Brainstorm the Top Energy Stories of 2007

While Platts has done a great job listing all of the major oil company stories of 2007, I am working on a Top 10 list for energy in general. I am about to be offline for a few days, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to gather input on the top energy stories of the year. My short (non-oil company) list of potential candidates would be Nanosolar, the Chevy Volt announcement, the LS9 start-up, the Range Fuels groundbreaking, the BP/D1 jatropha announcement, and the COP/Tyson green diesel announcement. Those are some that spring to my mind. What else? I am struggling to remember any major developments in wind, tidal, or geothermal power. What about coal? Nuclear? Feel… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 10, 2007 with no responses

Vinod Khosla Scoops Me

Some people think I am anti-ethanol. That is an oversimplification, and a misrepresentation of my position. I have nothing against ethanol as a fuel. It isn’t as good a fuel as butanol, but then again we can’t make butanol as efficiently as we make ethanol. My objection is with specific ethanol policies in the U.S., which I think are setting up some potentially risky scenarios and making a lot of unrealistic promises. Imagine that we have a drought in the Midwest that causes corn crops to fail, sending food and ethanol prices soaring at the same time. Such an event would surely have us reevaluating U.S. ethanol policies. I also dislike the incredible hype associated with cellulosic ethanol. Promising too… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 1, 2007 with no responses

LS9′s Oil-Crapping Bugs

I have only half-jokingly commented before that the ideal microorganism for energy production would consume garbage and excrete gasoline, which would float to the top of a reactor to be skimmed off via a low-energy process. Technically, there isn’t any reason that this shouldn’t be feasible. It’s just a matter of understanding the metabolic pathways, and successfully doing the genetic engineering. But to put that into perspective, it is probably also technically feasible to engineer humans to use photosynthesis for energy, or to engineer a blueberry tree. In other words, technically feasible is often a long way from imminently doable. But there has been a flurry of stories this week about another venture backed by Vinod Khosla called LS9 which… Continue»