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Saturday, November 08, 2003

Oil as an Unlimited Resource?

This may be world-changing.

A company named Changing World Technologies claims that it can produce oil and natural gas by recycling any carbon-based waste, with an energy efficiency of 85%, and scalable to almost any size. Almost any size. That means, in Samizdata's words,

If you live in the middle of the Australian outback, you can chuck your shite and animal carcasses into the hopper on one end... and fill up the old diesel RV from the other fifteen minutes later.

Scalable energy production was the hope of the hydrogen fuel-cell crowd (myself included), but hydrogen distribution remained a difficult obstacle for practical use. In this case, the fuel would be mostly inert waste products already in abundant supply at almost every level of scale you can imagine. And the biggest benefit -- energy indepence for not only the US but everyone -- will almost pale in comparison to the long-term benefit of severly reducing our landfill and sewage levels as these materials are consumed in energy production. Politically, energy independence will allow us to deal honestly with the Arab kleptocracies, and will also reduce their one natural resource to a curiosity, a third- or fourth-option backup source. That will severely impact funding to terrorists as well.

If this technology is proven, it's time to throw massive resources into licensing and producing these refineries. Let's roll, people. (via QandO)

UPDATE: There is a fair amount of skepticism in Samizdata's comments section; be sure to read through them. As one post says, "I hope this isn't the 2003 version of Cold fusion."

Now that you have read this post, read the most recent entries at the new Captain's Quarters at http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/!

04:04 PM in Science | Permalink

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