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Harnessing Microbes To Meet Our Future Energy Needs

June 9, 2008
“Microorganisms can provide just the services our society needs to move from fossil fuels to renewable biofuels,” said Rittmann. “Only the microorganisms can pass all the tests, and we should take full advantage of the opportunities that microorganisms present.”
clipped from www.sciencedaily.com
Perhaps there is no greater societal need for scientific know-how than in finding new ways to meet future energy demands. Skyrocketing gas prices, an uncertain oil supply, increasing demand from around the world, and the looming threat of climate change have made identifying and developing realistic energy alternatives a national priority.
“Today, fossil fuels provide 80 percent of the energy needs to run human society worldwide: 34 percent petroleum, 32 percent coal, and 14 percent natural gas.”
microoganisms, the smallest forms of life on Earth, can meet the scalability and environmental tests. Rittmann sees a vast untapped potential of using microbes in service to society to meet our energy challenges.
“Photosynthetic bacteria can capture sunlight energy at rates 100 times or more greater than plants, and they do not compete for arable land,
This high rate of energy capture means that renewable biofuels can be generated in quantities that rival our current use of fossil fuels.
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