We may be suffering with fuel prices right now, but I believe that pain will result in gain. While there are many companies working hard to bring new energy sources to market, Joule Unlimited is particularly exciting to me. If what they are saying about their product is true, we could supply all the automotive fuel needs of the country from an area one third the size of Rhode Island.
Joule claims they can produce 15,000 gallons of diesel per acre per year. The United States consumes 19 million barrels of oil per day. Assuming 55 gallons of diesel per barrel, we need (55 gallons/barrel)*(19e6 barrels/day)*(365 days/year)/(15000 gallons/year/acre)/(3.79e6 square miles in the US/acre)) = .01, or 1% of the area of the united states, approximately three quarters of the area of Louisiana. However, this land could come from anywhere, even the roofs of houses.
Consider a typical 2000 square foot house. If the roof were used to grow biodiesel, it could produce (2000 square feet)*(acre/(43560 square feet))*(15000 gallons/acre/year)*(year /(365 days))= 2 gallons per day.
Recently, they acquired 5000 acres for beginning commercialization. If Joule’s claims are accurate, this is a first small step toward a future where fuel is cheap and does not rely on the Middle East.
Making plants more efficient http://www.kurzweilai.net/solar-cells-more-efficient-than-photosynthesis-for-now