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Anything that grows 'can convert into oil'
Posted By Joe Kovacs On 03/19/2008 @ 9:44 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
After three years of clandestine development, a Georgia company is now going public with a simple, natural way to convert anything that grows out of the Earth into oil.
J.C. Bell, an agricultural researcher and CEO of Bell Bio-Energy, Inc., says he’s isolated and modified specific bacteria that will, on a very large scale, naturally change plant material – including the leftovers from food – into hydrocarbons to fuel cars and trucks.
“What we’re doing is taking the trash like corn stalks, corn husks, corn cobs – even grass from the yard that goes to the dump – that’s what we can turn into oil,” Bell told WND. “I’m not going to make asphalt, we’re only going to make the things we need. We’re going to make gasoline for driving, diesel for our big trucks.”
Wood pulp is among the many natural materials that can be converted into oil and gasoline, according to Bell Bio-Energy, Inc., of Tifton, Ga.
The agricultural researcher made the discovery after standing downwind from his cows at his food-production company, Bell Plantation, in Tifton, Ga.
“Cows are like people that eat lots of beans. They’re really, really good at making natural gas,” he said. “It dawned on me that that natural gas was methane.”
Bell says he wondered what digestive process inside a cow enabled it to change food into the hydrocarbon molecules of methane, so he began looking into replicating and speeding up the process.
“Through genetic manipulation, we’ve changed the naturally occurring bacteria, so they eat and consume biomass a little more efficiently,” he said. “It works. There’s not even any debate that it works. It really is an all-natural, simple process that cows use on a daily basis.”
Naturally occurring bacteria used to convert biomass into hydrocarbons.
But does he think it will make environmentalists happy?
“They love this. We had one totally recognizable environmentalist from Hollywood say this is everything they ever had hoped for,” Bell said. “This could be considered the ultimate recycling of carbon. We are using the energy of the sun through the plant. We’re not introducing any new carbon [to the environment].”
The research has received strong support from the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture and committees in both chambers of Congress, and Bell plans further discussions in Washington, D.C., next week.
He expects to have the first pilot plant for the process running within two to three months, and will operate it for a year to collect engineering data to design full-scale production facilities. He thinks the larger facilities will be producing oil “inside the next two years.”
And just how much oil is in Bell’s bio-forecast?
“With minor changes in the agricultural and forestry products, we could create two to two and a half billion tons of biomass a year, and you’re looking at 5 billion barrels of oil per year. That would be about two-thirds of what we use now.”
Turning some of nature’s produce into energy has been done for years, especially when it comes to the conversion of corn and cellulose-based products into ethanol, used to extend gasoline volume and boost octane.
The Energy Information Administration says in 2005, total U.S. ethanol production was 3.9 billion gallons, or 2.9 percent of the total gasoline pool.
Bell admits his bacterial breakthrough has been kept under wraps until now, but he plans to explain it all once his website is fully operational.
Bell Bio-Energy, Inc., aims to use modified bacteria like this to convert biomass into oil and gasoline within two years.
“We’re actually gonna tell people how we do it, with streaming video. We’re to the point now with our patent that we can say more and we fully intend to.
“We want to develop public support so they can understand what we’re doing; to develop political support, because this is a combination of making the United States more independent from foreign oil sources; make [the country] healthier from an economic point of view; and it goes a long way to solving the environmental problems a lot of people are concerned about.”
When asked why he thought no one else has patented this process, Bell answered, “It literally is because it’s too simple. Everyone was looking for a real complicated mechanism. We looked at how it occurs naturally. But it’s now going to develop in a hurry.”
Recalling other great inventions, Bell cited on another person with his last name.
“Alexander Graham Bell put together stuff that was already on the shelf and made a phone. I don’t want to compare myself to the great inventors. I’m not there yet, but to be able to look at simple things and create things from them, that’s how we think in this company.”
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