Ponderers of panda poo possibly solve petrol problems

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Pandas, those big cuddly-looking critters that we all love, may have the answer to cheaply manufacturing biofuels hidden up their furry asses. Researchers at the University of Mississippi have been working on the problem of creating biofuels from non-edible sources and came up with the following information:

First of all, it makes little sense to transform food substances such as corn into fuels to satisfy the world's ravenous demand for energy. Many cultures depend on corn for their daily sustenance, so in a world where millions die yearly of starvation it is unconscionably callous for the wealthy nations to burn as fuel foodstuffs that are desperately needed by the starving. The answer? Make biofuels from something that can't be eaten in the first place.

Pandas make do on a diet that most of the world's creatures would starve on -- bamboo. The roughest roughage in the world is probably lignocellulose. Lignocellulose is not only present in bamboo, but it is also present in switch grass, cornstalks, and wood chips, all of which are nonfood items that don't help solve the world's hunger crisis. Feed the corn to the starving,; then make biofuel from the leftover cornstalks.

An analysis of panda poo turned up many bacteria living in these cunning-looking beasts that are capable of breaking down the lignocellulose even better than the bacteria found in the guts of termites, which are champion wood chompers. Researchers hope to be able to use these bacteria to produce biofuels in a more environmentally friendly way than is currently being used to produce fuels like ethanol from corn and other edible substances. Current biofuel production requires the use of extreme heat, harsh acids and high pressures - all energy intensive and expensive. It would be great if one of mankind's biggest problems could be solved by something as simple as looking up a panda's ass.

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6 Comments on "Ponderers of panda poo possibly solve petrol problems"

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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I think any progress that can be made toward a cleaner environment and feeding the world's hungry children will have us heading in the right direction.

I also wonder what panda farts smell like.

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

the thin brown line's picture
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that is if they can stave off extinction!

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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I hope for the panda's sake, and for future generations of humans, extinction is staved off but the survival of the species would be immaterial to the success of a bio-fuel conversion program. As long as the "bugs" from the panda's gut have been cultured the program could go on.

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

the thin brown line's picture
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There will always be a panda logo to remind us, right Chief?

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.

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Pandas are interesting critters. Although they subsist primarily on bamboo their digestive systems more closely resemble those of carnivores. Indeed they are classified as being in the order Carnivora and will eat meat if it is available, which is a rare occurrence. They are not built for speed and have a bit of trouble when it comes to running down a deer or one of the other animals that share its habitat. Chinese panda trappers sometimes bait their live traps with mutton.

The panda population in the wild consists of about 1,600 individuals in a highly protected area that keeps them more of less stable.

Animals that are actually more endangered than the panda are;
the tiger, polar bears, the Pacific walrus, Magellanic penguins, and Leatherback turtles. The world will be a poorer place to live when these magnificent animals are gone forever.

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Anonymous's picture
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In 1976, I went to the National Zoo, the animal one, not the one under the dome, in our nation's crapital and was shown the panda exhibit. Of course, the front of the exhibition space is all glassed in and it is air conditioned. So one of the pandas waddles over to the front corner where lots of people are standing, sort of backs up onto the glass and proceeds to shoot a squirty liquid dump on both sides of the glass. I hope the event was captured on many movie cameras.