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'Diesel' producing fungus found

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posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 12:03 PM

'Diesel' producing fungus found

A tree-living fungus that produces a substance similar to diesel fuel has been discovered in South America. Skip related content
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'Diesel' producing fungus found

Experts believe Gliocladium roseum could potentially be a completely new source of green energy.

The fungus, which lives inside the Ulmo tree in the Patagonian rainforest, naturally produces hydrocarbon fuel similar to the diesel used to power cars and lorries.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 12:03 PM
I think this has potential for us all. I'm looking forward to the new engines and technologies we will create to use this new source of hydrocarbons. Or maybe we'll just re-engineer the bacteria to get it to produce something closer to the hydrocarbons we currently use (and probably create a monster at the same time).

I wonder whether we'll be able to add this to our compost heaps? Or will the petrol companies engineer a campaign to wipe out this helpful bacterium?
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 12:05 PM
Just in case Yahoo! deletes the article, the full text is:

Scientists were amazed to find that it was able to convert plant cellulose directly into the biofuel, dubbed "myco-diesel".

Crops normally have to be converted to sugar and fermented before they can be turned into useful fuel.

Professor Gary Strobel, from Montana State University in the US, said: "G. roseum can make myco-diesel directly from cellulose, the main compound found in plants and paper. This means if the fungus was used to make fuel, a step in the production process could be skipped."

Prof Strobel led an investigation into novel fungi in the rainforests of northern Patagonia, which cross the borders of Argentina and Chile.

He found that when the diesel fuel fungus was exposed to potentially toxic antibiotics, it reacted defensively by generating volatile gases.

"Then when we examined the gas composition of G. roseum, we were totally surprised to learn that it was making a plethora of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon derivatives," he said.

"The results were totally unexpected and very exciting and almost every hair on my arms stood on end."

Cellulose provides the fibrous supporting structure of plants. During biofuel production, cellulose from plant waste is first treated with enzymes that turn it into sugar. Microbes then ferment the sugar into inflammable ethanol.

Nearly 430 million tonnes of plant waste is produced from farmland each year around the world.

Prof Strobel said: "We were very excited to discover that G. roseum can digest cellulose. Although the fungus makes less myco-diesel when it feeds on cellulose compared to sugars, new developments in fermentation technology and genetic manipulation could help improve the yield.

"In fact, the genes of the fungus are just as useful as the fungus itself in the development of new biofuels."

Taken from Yahoo!.

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 12:28 PM
Yesss this is Amazing lets cut down all of those trees and steal the fule inside of it

cant wait till we get rid of those damned trees

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 02:28 PM
Hmmm... a "new supply of green energy?" The fungus produces hydrocarbons similar to diesel feul?

OK, I gotta ask again, are we alegedly destroying the planet because of burning hydrocarbons or because our main source of hydrocarbons requires us to drill or dig into the crust of the Earth?

The green crowd wonders often how folks like myself can make the claim that man driven global warming is bullcrap and based off junk science and is nothing more than another way to separate the average worker from their money... well, here ya go. Mixed messages and so-called "experts" confusing the terminology they invented do not build confidence.

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 02:45 PM
I am among other things an amature mycologist and nothing fungi do anymore surprises me.

There are fungi that leach poisons out of the soil and others that apparently eat radiation.

And there is one, the brain mushroom or false morel that produces a chemical that is remarkably similar to one of the key componants of rocket fuel.

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 10:05 PM
I was going to post on this but you beat me too it! Good job

Heres some more information from about it:

In fact, it's so good at turning plant matter into fuel that researchers say their discovery calls into question the whole theory of how crude oil was made by nature in the first place.

While many crops and microbes can be combined to make biofuels — including the fungi that became infamous as jungle rot during WWII — the newfound fungus could greatly simplify the process, its discoverers claim. Researchers have suggested that billions of acres of fallow farmland could be used to grow the raw material of biofuels. But turning corn stalks or switchgrass into fuel is a painstaking process and the end product is expensive and not entirely friendly to the environment.

More Information

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 10:17 PM
I think if we grow some of these trees and make some of this fungus we can get rich selling bio diesel.
But the fact is its still burning fossil fuels.
Its not green energy.
Depending of course on what is put out as a waste.
Which considering it to be a hydrocarbon similar to diesel it would more than likely put out the same crap.

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 10:34 PM
Green this, hydro carbon that, it is all just a scam. Maybe you all forgot how the elites tried to con everyone into thinking we were makeing the earth colder around about the 60/70's? That was thrown out the window pretty fast by experts back then, just like global warming will be done sooner or later.

The earth goes through cooling and heating cycles, the elite are just using the current heating cycle to rape us of more cash. Of course they have greater media control then back in the 60/70's so the campaign is more successful, also less likely to get thrown out the window untill people realise the earth is beggining to cool again.

As for this Fungus, bloody heck, that is sweet news to me. Now instead of flushing our crap, we can turn it into diesel for our cars
. A few thousand hectare of this stuff, would put out enough dieself or majority of the world I would imagine, feed it cow/horse/cattle dung and food waste from all over the world. Will save on land fill also

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 10:41 PM
This would be great news if we can really make this useful. Does it seem to survive outside of the tree? It would make cellulose bio fuel pretty easy to make then. Here's hoping ......

posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 10:51 PM
Incredibly they also have mushrooms that when growing on land polluted with oil (hydrocarbons) they actually break it down into carbohydrates (sugars), amazing potential for helping us clean up!!!

posted on Nov, 5 2008 @ 12:26 AM
Well, I'm all for experimentation, and supporting those who experiment as well... but I fail to see how a fungus can be used in a mass production environment, capable of producing enough fuel for the worlds fleets of vehicles.

No... the best bet up to now for alternative energy remains electric (hardly alternative I know). It's good enough for our factories, it's good enough for our cars.

posted on Nov, 5 2008 @ 01:33 AM

Originally posted by johnsky
Well, I'm all for experimentation, and supporting those who experiment as well... but I fail to see how a fungus can be used in a mass production environment, capable of producing enough fuel for the worlds fleets of vehicles.

No... the best bet up to now for alternative energy remains electric (hardly alternative I know). It's good enough for our factories, it's good enough for our cars.

You'd be surprised what you can do with living organism's.
Look what we do with bacteria everyday.
Imagine sticking some mushrooms in your car and driving 100 miles.

Remember the dude in that movie who wanted to tow the iceberg from the north pole to Africa to water the desert?

I think the move forward in energy will come when they discover and make available the already known and classified isotopes and elements which produce great energy without the sickening radiation to carbon life forms.
If you can envisage for a moment another 100 elements on the periodic table, some of them on the higher end, would have radiation that would not even exist in this dimension.
Therefore we as carbon life forms could harness the energy but not have the danger.
I remember someone once said "How absurd you can never have anymore elements we have discovered them all, we are trained professionals!".

posted on Nov, 5 2008 @ 10:05 AM
reply to post by johnsky

Even if it were to be able to meet a small fraction of our fuel needs it would be a valuable step. It's worth investigating at the very least. There is not going to be any one grand slam idea for solving our energy needs till fusion plants happen. This is one of the new frontiers (alternative energy sources) of science.

posted on Nov, 5 2008 @ 07:54 PM
Fungi grow quite quickly so I expect that with enough determination we'll be able cultivate and hybridize/genetically altar this particular one to meet a lot of our hydrocarbon needs.

Just ask a vegetarian about Quorn meat. There's a lot of that produced to meet human demand. Even better, ask the drinkers among us how many gallons of alcohol are produced each year from the yeast, another fungi type, that produce a usable hydrogen, carbon and oxygen based byproduct.

More indepth information about this new discovery can be found at COSMOS - Rainforest fungus gives off biodiesel.

Edited to add: Something even more important that's discussed in the Cosmos article is another discovery: two fungi that produce antibiotic gas (a gas that kills other fungi). I hope we don't use this antibiotic gas too much though because we might end up accidentally killing some of the most important life forms on earth.

Edited again to add these paragraphs from the Cosmos article (because it suggests ways to use it; and shows the discoverer is good natured and fortuitous:

Instead of using farmland to grow biofuels, G. roseum could be grown in factories, like baker's yeast, and its gases siphoned off to be liquefied into fuel, he suggested. Another alternative, he said, would be to strip out the enzyme-making genes from the fungus and use this to break down the cellulose to make the biodiesel.

Strobel said Montana State University had filed patents for the fungus, proceeds of which would be shared with local people in Patagonia.

Asked where the fungus had been found, he pointed to the experiences of the 1848 gold rush and said the location had to be protected: "The answer to that is, what if we pushed ourselves back about a hundred and fifty years and you heard a story about a guy finding gold out in California?"

The find is even bigger, said Strobel, than his 1993 discovery of fungus that contained the anticancer drug taxol.

[edit on 5/11/08 by Rapacity]

[edit on 5/11/08 by Rapacity]

[edit on 5/11/08 by Rapacity]

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