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Trading lung cancer for biofuel

Usually when the word tobacco and any topic related to tobacco brings to mind one thing: smoking. And depending on your preference, it could either bring a feeling of bliss and calmness or nausea and disgust. But what if the smart people behind modern science have discovered another most socially acceptable use for tobacco plants that won’t result in disfigured babies and limbs on its packaging material?

Researchers have genetically engineered the leaves and stems of tobacco plants so that the plants produce twice the normal amount of oil, making tobacco a more viable energy crop candidate. The GM tobacco plants are also tweaked a little by removing the unnecessary components allowing for air pockets to form within leaves that act as collection points for the oil generated.

And as tobacco is not a source of food, it negates the food vs fuel debates. Of course, it may start a smokers vs fuel war, but as commercial application is still a work-in-progress, there’s plenty of time for them to prepare their rebuttals.

Source:

http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-projects/oil-tobacco-leaves

http://www.euronews.com/2013/05/30/biofuel-ling-change-with-tobacco/

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/02/25/berkeley-lab-researchers-convert-tobacco-to-biofuel/

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