Weird. The Post reports that some clever folks have found yet another use for beetle-kill wood — motor fuel.
Its not exactly turning a sows ear into a silk purse, but Cobalt Technologies Inc. is aiming to transform pine-bark-beetle-killed lodgepole pines into motor fuel.
A Colorado State University lab is preparing to test the brew from the California startup company in a four-stroke, overhead-valve Honda engine.
Plus, if you read the story, you’ll learn a little about the differences between ethanol and butanol.
So here’s a dumb question — what’s the demand for beetle-kill wood looking like? Or what would it look like if a few people started using beetle-kill butanol?
Liquefying crab and shrimp shells may block pine beetles from burrowing into pine trees and killing them. (Ummm, I was just about to suggest this as the next obvious answer to the pine beetle problem….)
That’s the word from scientists at Colorado State University, who are frustrated that the U.S. Forest Service has yet to test their golden-colored seafood serum on a large scale. (The scientists want it sprayed across the forest using airplanes. The obvious question: What would that smell like?)
The Denver Post wrote about the possible solution this week:
“We don’t find any downside to it,” said CSU microbiologist Jim Linden, one of two scientists guiding commercial production at a factory near Loveland.
Dousing healthy lodgepole pines with the gold-colored serum “certainly is part of the toolbox of ways to counteract the beetle,” Linden said. “It is inexpensive and safe.”
This is the latest of several methods scientists have proposed to try to combat proliferating pine beetles. Others advocate spraying forests with insecticides, distracting beetles with pheromones and bombarding beetles with recorded beetle sounds that can drive them to crazed self-destruction.
Did you catch that? The seafood serum has to compete with recorded beetle sounds that can drive them to crazed self-destruction. Wow, that’s a tough battle.