Mineral Oil, has been around from its mother source petroleum, for centuries now. The precursor of this monopoly was John D. Rockefeller, a visionary, ingenious and innovator who created Standard Oil in 1863. After his kerosene discovery and the atrocities generated after its domestic misuse, he invented the kerosene lamp for safety and after that, his wealthiness increases after incorporating another petroleum derivate, gasoline. Moreover, his monopoly gets dismantled by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890, but he wisely disguised his empire along 6 different corporations, for which he was shareholder on each and one of them. Probably you may have heard of Exxon, Chevron and Mobile Companies right? Well this is his legacy.
From this moment on, society has been able to use cars, start up machines, and power up motorcycles with gasoline.
Today, oil is still being used for multiple applications such as solvents, elastomers, fuel agents, plastics, rubber and much more. Unfortunately, scarcity is haunting this raw mineral and possibly the Rockefellers’ are not going to like this.
Researchers at Fraunhofer, have found that sugar can substitute mineral oil because of its renewability, it grows back. Unlike mineral oil, sugar has many other potentials of production that may overpass that of oil, nonetheless it can also produce gasoline! Researchers say, that the sugar they use is “totally independent of food production. (…) researchers break wood down into its individual components: cellulose (sugar), hemicelluloses and lignin.” Understandably, this sugar will not be of consumer use, but for oil substitute. Sugar from beet will be reserved only for food supply, using sugar from wood or straw.
Sugar extracted from wood has an interesting process that will revolutionize our future generations, promising a better environment, read here about how to make ethanol from sugar wood.
Renewable materials promise to be the next generation of supply production and it is an awareness everyone should address. As of today, there are products already thinking about the environment, many such as mycelium forms, which can replace foams and plastics; paper made out of crops and bricks out of paper waste.
Our task today, is to think and search for those local materials can be renewable, mostly organics in order to start building what will not suffer from scarcity.
Fraunhofer website: http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2014/march/sugar-not-oil.html
Sugar, not oil: New renewable material for the future, www.technology.org. March 23, 2014.
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