Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

Is Bacteria Fuel the Next Big Thing?

While LS9’s research seems promising, bacteria fuel will have some competition to become the fuel of the future. Here’s a look at how it compares with three other major players among alternative fuels.

Bacteria Fuel

PRO: 50% more energy per gallon than ethanol; no need for refining
CON: Hasn’t been tried on a large scale yet; potential regulatory issues

Algae Biodiesel

PRO: Cheaper and more efficient to produce than soy biodiesel or ethanol
CON: Delicate algae are hard to keep alive and churning oil by the billions


PRO: Made from common crops such as corn; proven and existing technology
CON: Less energy than biodiesel; needs pricey, eco-unfriendly refining

Soy Biodiesel

PRO: Made from soybean oil, which is already widely made; nontoxic
CON: Costlier than bacteria or algae fuel; turns solid at low temperatures

A version of this article appeared in the February 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.