Monday, September 19, 2016
We're gonna need a bigger olive.
Do you like crazy visionary science ideas? I sure do. There’s this company in Florida, Algenol, that’s working on a way to breed cyanobacteria to live in salt water, soak up sunlight, and poop out a mixture of ethyl alcohol and water. They’re getting about 8,000 gallons of liquid fuel from one wet acre annually, about 20 times more than the same acreage in corn ethanol. Promising, right? But there’s danger lurking. If a rogue scientist were to splice in some juniper DNA, and the bacteria escaped, I can visualize the inadvertent conversion of all the world’s oceans to gin.