Science Makes Bacterial Version of Mr. Fusion?

Newspapers, it’s often said, will always be popular with people who have hamsters and parrots. Fortunately, somebody has invented another use for newspapers…burning them for fuel.

The idea, courtesy of scientists at Tulane University, is to feed your local rag to a strain of bacteria that crank out biofuel, specifically butanol, in an oxygenated environment. All it needs is cellulose…you know, like you find in newspaper.

Butanol is an ideal biofuel because it can run unmodified car engines, it’s got more energy, it can be pumped through our current terrible oil infrastructure and, oh yeah, it’s easy to make. In short, we’re approaching the day where you just cram whatever crap is lying around into your tank and drive off.

No word on whether you can hit 88 miles per hour.

[ via the papereaters at Gizmag ]