Chapter 268: Chapter 262
He opened his eyes wide with surprise.
“Really? You’ve discovered microorganisms that can break down petroleum…?”
Duyoung quickly put his hand over his lips, and Hyunwoo also zipped his lips.
Only then did Duyoung nod slowly and said, “Yea, I have discovered microorganisms that only eat up gasoline impurities. I’m not sure I’m the first to discover it, but I have not seen any announcement about this kind of discovery.”
“Then, you’re done with your research! Finally, you can make green oil, your lifelong dream.”
“It’s too early to tell,” said Duyoung, shaking his head unexpectedly.
Hyunwoo tilted his head to one side and asked, “Why?”
But Duyoung didn’t tell him about it all.
Instead, he threw a ludicrous question at Hyunwoo, “Do you know how oil is made?”
Hyunwoo remembered he learned it in school. To the best of his memory, petroleum was created over a long period of time by the decomposition of organic matter in the ancient age.
Smiling at him, Duyoung nodded.
“Yea, that’s one of the theories on that.”
“Theory? What you mean is that nobody has yet exactly discovered the cause of the formation of petroleum, right?”
Then he briefed Hyunwoo several theories on the formation of petroleum.
What Hyunwoo just talked about was the theory of biological origin, the most influential theory. Another potent theory was that the microbes in the lakes became oil, and some scholars argued that petroleum was inherent in the birth of the earth.
Indeed, Titan, Saturn’s moon, contained a large amount of hydrocarbons even though life never existed there.
After finishing his explanation, Duyoung looked at Hyunwoo seriously.
“But I think I have to add one more theory to the existing ones…”
“In my mind, a lot of microbes eat carbon and water to produce hydrocarbons.”
Duyoung showed him his research notes.
Even though Hyunwoo didn’t have any expert knowledge, Duyoung wrote down what he discovered neatly in the notebook.
There was a surprising discovery noted there. Namely, microbes break down things like wood, graphite, and paper to produce hydrocarbons.
Hyunwoo was thrilled to see that. If this were true, this would be a much greater discovery than green oil. He felt he could produce petroleum simply by making good use of garbage.
But Duyoung calmed him down and added additional explanation.
“At this point, this is no more than a dead theory that can’t be applied.”
“Why? This is a terrific theory…”
“Because it will take so much time to prove it. If you produce oil by using my theory, you have to invest ten years of time and energy in a research room similar to mine to make one liter of petroleum.”
“Oh my god!”
“Of course, adjusting the temperature and pressure for microbial growth will reduce research time a bit, but it is not economical at all. I think it will take dozens of years or maybe several hundred years to find how to put microbes for commercial use.”
In that respect, it was a dead theory, as his father described.
“In the case of gasoline, the prospect is a bit better. The purifying speed is quite good if I make microorganisms react to existing volatiles. Of course, it has not reached a point where it can be commercialized,” said Duyoung.
Hearing his explanation, Hyunwoo felt that it would take about one year to purify it to the point where he could be satisfied.
But Hyunwoo was not disappointed. He massaged his father’s shoulder and cheered him up.
“I think you can find a way to reduce the time. You have already discovered microorganisms unknown to the world. Cheer up, dad!”
“Of course, I’ll certainly find it. That’s why I’m doing an experiment on microbes in various environments. If I can discover a way to reduce the time, I can solve all the problems at once.”
When Hyunwoo looked around, his father was really ready for a variety of experiments.
His father was planning to combine temperature and pressure in a number of cases and experiment in closed and open, dry and humid environments.
Duyoung was also planning to analyze the effects of the sun or electricity on microbes.
If he wanted to do that, his current research room was not big enough. In particular, it would be much more effective to do the research on the sun outside his research room.
Hyunwoo said with a worried expression.
“Don’t you think your experiment will be exposed to the outside?”
“Well, there are only students here. I wonder if they can tip outsiders off on my secret research.”
“Still, you might as well be careful, I think.”
“I know, but I don’t want to distrust my students here.”
Duyoung said in a cheerful voice and then talked about microbes again.
Hyunwoo felt happy all along while his father was explaining his new discovery.
On the other hand, he was worried that his father would fall sick suddenly.
In fact, Duyoung was exhausted; his face was haggard. But his eyes were sparkling as ever, suggesting that he could hardly feel tired because of his thrill with the new discovery.
“Dad, please take a good rest today. You can resume research tomorrow morning.”
Though Duyoung said he didn’t feel tired at all, Hyunwoo insisted he should have rest.
“Okay, son. Let’s go out.”
Both of them came out of the room.
And then Hyunoo went into the broadcasting room of Haenim School and called a meeting of the teachers, students, and researchers.
The meeting ended quickly. The teachers and students were all aware of the problems the school was faced with.
“Sosan is far from us, but as there is a highway there, I think I can come back home anytime if I want.”
“As long as I live in a dorm, I have no problem with moving there.”
Everyone agreed with the relocation of Haenim School
Taeho also actively supported its relocation.
“I think I have to submit my resignation to the university on this occasion. I just feel it too regrettable that I have to sacrifice my research time for my teaching activities.”
Hyunwoo was surprised, and said, “You don’t have to…”
But Taeho raised his hand, suggesting he didn’t have to worry.
“I can take up my professorship later when I need it. And I’m not in financial need. Don’t you think we can lead a happy life when we are involved in what we want to do?”
But Hyunwoo was curious how Suji, her daughter, and Mrs. Kong would react.
In particular, Suji would have to quit from Aurum if the school was relocated to Sosan.
“Okay, let me move Haenim Schoon to Sosan. It’ll take more than one year to relocate. I think we can move to the new school by next autumn at the earliest. Please be ready from now on.”
After the meeting, they all went back to their desks.
The next day, Taeho called him as if he was waiting for his arrival at Haenim School.
“Can I see you for a moment?”
Hyunwoo could guess what he was going to say.
“I’m afraid I can’t move to Seoul.”
“Looks like your family members are opposing your move.”
Taeho nodded his head with a bitter expression.
Comforting him, Hyunwoo said, “I think you should put the priority on your family. Don’t be too disappointed. You can stay and continue to do your research here.”
“Sorry,” said Taeho, lowering his head a bit.
Hyunwoo couldn’t pay much attention to Taeho at the moment.
In fact, he was preoccupied with someone for the last few days.
I can see her tomorrow finally!
Yu Zuung was in China at the moment, and she wasn’t coming back to Korea tomorrow.
Hyunwoo would fly there tomorrow.
Of course, he had a plausible excuse. He was supposed to visit the China branch of Ani & Funny. It operated the same way as the Vietnam branch did initially. Those working there were amateurs composed of students only.
Ani & Funny had three branches in China, one each in Beijing, Shanghai, and Kwangzou.
The Shanghai branch was the largest among them, with more than 400 students working as part-timers.
The next day, he flew to China early in the morning.
In a very quiet alleyway in Bono-dong, Ansan City, a middle-aged man in a trench coat was waiting for someone with his collar turned up.
A little later a boy who looked like a high-school student approached him. Discovering him, the man greeted gladly.
“Thanks for coming here.”
But the boy looked displeased.
“Why do you keep asking me to come out like this? I don’t want to meet you.”
But that man didn’t care. Instead he took out a thick envelope and gave it to him.
The student reluctantly received it. He felt it contained at least 500,000 won as it was rather thick.
“Why are you giving it to me? What do you want from me?”
“I told you already, boy. It’s necessary to bring justice in this world. We can’t improve our society if shameless people like Duyoung Jang prosper.”
In fact, the boy was a research assistant working for Duyoung at Haenim School.