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Their Opinion: A big story — right here in Tifton[Georgia] / Researcher: Discovery Could End Energy Crisis ! (Updated May 7, 2008)

Jana Cone

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t was an incredible story. Maybe too incredible. That seems to be the consensus of other news reporters around the country who have been calling me for the past month to ask why my story wasn’t a national news story. I told all of them the same thing I will tell you: I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. The Gazette is a member of the Associated Press and they were free to pick up the article and run it. They didn’t.

The story was about Tifton resident J.C. Bell who has found the solution to the world’s energy crisis through genetic modification and cloning of bacterial organisms that can convert bio-mass into hydrocarbon on a grand scale. Hydrocarbon = gas. Think about this next week when you are at the gas pump paying $3.50 a gallon. Think about the Tifton man who is capable of making as much gas as we will ever need — and he can make it cheap.

How cheap you ask? Well, I didn’t put that part in my article, but let me tell you I think he could probably make it for 25 cents a gallon — but the government would most likely never allow that. The reason he could make it that cheap is because the process is so simple and the materials are essentially free. All he requires is a big tank (think of a silo, maybe), a handful of this bacteria (well, I don’t know that the recipe calls for a handful) and some tree limbs, corns husks, or any of those other once-living things that we dispose of (called bio-mass). Mix the bacteria and the bio-mass together, stir around a little and out comes gas. That simple.

Take a deep breath and let this idea seep into your head. All the gas we want or need. For 25 cents a gallon. Forever. And you don’t have to modify any of our vehicles. And it is environmentally friendly. That would pretty well end the energy crisis and this country’s dependence on foreign oil, don’t you think?

Do you doubt that he can do it? Let me tell you, I believe he can do it. The U.S. defense department believes he can do it. On April 15, J.C. was invited by the defense department to speak at the World Wide Energy Conference held in Arlington, Virginia. He was up there talking alongside speakers from ExxonMobile and the National Science Foundation.

He must have given a good presentation, because shortly afterwards my phone starting ringing. The first to call was Joe Kovacs with WorldNet Daily. He wrote an article headlined: National news media burying amazing oil breakthrough? The last one to call was Herman Cain. He is a news columnist, businessman, politician and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He is also a substitute host on the Neal Boortz radio talk show. He called to say the story was HUGE and to ask for J.C.’s phone number. I think this thing is finally starting to pick up speed.

When I last spoke with J.C. he had not decided where to locate his facilities. The Tifton chamber crowd had started “courting” him, as well they should. J.C. could change the entire economic picture for Tifton single-handedly. I envision a day when there will be a sign at the city limits that says, “Home of J.C. Bell.” By the way, I understand J.C. is distantly related to Alexander Graham Bell, who came up with a dandy invention also.

As he walked me to my car the day of the interview, we had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: You will be a billionaire.

J.C.: I know it.

Me: Your whole family will be billionaires.

J.C.: I know it.

Me: There are people who won’t like this idea.

J.C.: I know it.




Researcher: Discovery could end energy crisis

Tifton (GA) Gazette ^ | 3/15/2008 | Jana Cone

Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:35:26 AM by Neville72

A Tifton agricultural researcher says he has found the solution to the world’s energy crisis through genetic modification and cloning of bacterial organisms that can convert bio-mass into hydrocarbons on a grand scale. The local researcher believes his groundbreaking discovery could result in the production of 500 to 1,000 barrels of hydrocarbon fuel per day from the initial production facility. The hydrocarbon fuel — commonly known as oil or fossil fuel when drilled — will require no modification to automobiles, oil pipelines or refineries as they exist today and could forever end the United States’ dependence on foreign oil, he said.

J.C. Bell, who brought the world powdered peanut butter, has spent the last four years, identifying the bacteria that produces hydrocarbon and then finding a way to genetically alter it so that it could produce hydrocarbon in greater volume.

Bell cited a USDA study that projected it was possible to produce two billion tons of bio-mass that could be converted to hydrocarbon with some modification to agriculture and forestry practices.

Pamela Serino, Chief of the Department of Defense Energy Support Center at Fort Belvoir, Va., said she was very excited about Bell’s technology. “The DOD Energy Support Center is the energy purchasing arm of the defense logistics agency,” Serino said. She said she became acquainted with Bell when he met with a senator about his hydrocarbon research. “We give support to the Hill,” she said. “When he was briefing the senator, we were there to see if his technology was viable.” Serino said her job was to question the science behind the technology. “It looks good to me,” she said.

Serino said she envisions a near future where “we have multiple regional energy sources.” She said the growth in China and India makes the work in bio-energy more critical.

Now that his discoveries have been patented, his corporation formed — Bell Bio-Energy, Inc. — and his government communications established, Bell announced his discoveries to the local press on Friday morning.

“I have received a tremendous amount of support from the state and federal government,” Bell said. “I could not have gotten this far without the help of (U.S. Sen.) Saxby Chambliss, (U.S. Sen.) Johnny Isakson, (Rep.) Jim Marshall, (Rep.) Jack Kingston and Floyd Gabler, the deputy undersecretary of the USDA.” He said, “They have opened doors for me at the Department of Defense and the EPA and EPD.”

Bell said he never considered ethanol for his research. “He who burns his food goes hungry,” Bell said. “That’s an old Chinese proverb.” Instead he concentrated on bio-mass and hydrocarbons. “If it grows it’s bio-mass,” Bell said. Bio-mass is any living or recently dead biological material. Hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Decomposed organic matter provides an abundance of carbon and hydrogen and is naturally occurring in crude oil.

Sources for bio-mass to be converted to hydrocarbon fuel are the forestry industry, pulp plants, agriculture and waste derived from the construction and demolition industry.

“This is the ultimate recycling,” Bell said. “Environmentalists should rejoice. We are only using waste products.” Bell said his company would take all of the waste of the plants: The tree limbs and tree tops, husks and cob of the corn, wheat stubble and corn stover.

Bell said that with ethanol, “The United Stated would have to totally rebuild our infrastructure.” He said, “We wanted to make hydrocarbon that could immediately be pumped.”

Bell said the original idea came from observing cows expel gas. “That is natural gas,” Bell said. “Cows release methane gas.” He said the gas is created by bacteria in the cow’s rumen or stomach. “These bacterial organisms are responsible for biological conversion of bio-mass into hydrocarbons,” he said.

With his research complete, Bell is in the process of building his pilot plants and production facilities. At the pilot plants, the bio-mass will be tested to select bacterial strains, bacterial genetic modification will be tested, revision of production protocols will be established, and a determination will be made of the best method of bio-mass conversion.

“We are exploring several locations for our pilot plants and production facilities,” Bell said. “We have the opportunity to put our plants in several locations.”

He estimated the budget for the research facility to be at $60 million annually and the production facilities at $250 to $300 million a year. He anticipates being in full scale production by October 1, 2009.

“Wherever this is located, the community will reap tremendous economic benefit,” he said.

Bell cites a number of benefits of bio-mass conversion: The energy shortage issue can be effectively addressed, it is a totally renewable energy source, it calms global warming fears, utilizes industrial waste and supports the agriculture industry.

“We can reduce the waste stream by 70 percent,” he said.

For more information e-mail questions to

To contact reporter Jana Cone, call 382-4321, ext. 208.


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The conversion of biomass to fuel is not new. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (US): \"Thermochemical Conversion Technologies - Projects

Thermochemical conversion technologies convert biomass and its residues to fuels, chemicals, and power using gasification and pyrolysis technologies. Gasification ”heating biomass with about one-third of the oxygen necessary for complete combustion” produces a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, known as syngas. Pyrolysis ”heating biomass in the absence of oxygen ”produces a liquid pyrolysis oil. Both syngas and pyrolysis oil can be used as fuels that are cleaner and more efficient than the solid biomass. Both can also be chemically converted to other valuable fuels and chemicals."


The issue is the cost, not the technology.

Before running with sensational stories, maybe some research?


Randy Mott

Managing Director