Tree Resin Could Replace Fossil Fuels

The discovery could create greener energy and product alternatives.

fossil fuels
Pine tree resin could help replace fossil fuels. (Getty)
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Researchers believe they can tinker with tree genetics to produce more resin, creating less of a demand for fossil fuels, Popular Science reports.

“The chemical composition of resins is not very different from that of certain fractions currently obtained from crude oil,” Mark Lange, a professor in Washington State University’s Institute of Biological Chemistry, told the magazine.

This type of genetic change could create more green alternatives for a whole slew of products that are made using fossil fuels like oil and gas such as adhesives, ink, fragrances, paint and vitamins.

That’s essential, because there is only a limited amount of fossil fuel and a discovery like this is a game-changer. “These are fossil resources that were formed over millions of years,” Lange said. “They also are non-renewable, which means that once we run out, there is no way to replenish them within a reasonable amount of time. Before the advent of crude oil as a cheap raw material, pine resins were harvested and converted into many common household goods by the naval stores industry.”

Plants could help the world curb its fossil fuel use and fight climate change. Lange hopes his research will make a difference in the chemical sector which will then lead to benefits in the economic and environment sectors as well.

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