Origin Oil, a California-based company, sounds like a frontrunner in biofuel technologies. Recently the company announced a new way to extract oil from algae, thereby making the process from plat to fuel faster and cheaper.
Origin Oil has a video on its Web site, showing the new process.
For the most part, corn and oil can be composed into very similar substances, except that corn can be made into edible syrup and oil cannot. Corn and oil can be refined to make both fuel and polymers for plastics.
Since the 1970’s corn has been turned into ethanol, a grain alcohol, to be mixed with refined petroleum (and other chemicals) to make today’s gasoline. You’ve probably noticed gas pumps that read “contains X percent ethanol.”
Gasoline Usually Contains Ethanol
Now, the incredible, edible corn is also used to make plastics.
But, the combination of creating corn plastics and ethanol requires a whole lot of corn — which, theoretically would drive up the price of corn as a crop. Also, this much corn requires much more land than if it were simply harvested for food. But also, this much production would sustain and perhaps encourage the economy of many Midwestern states like Iowa.