Don't count out the good old internal combustion engine just yet. A number of companies are working on new engine designs that can help pick up the slack until alternatives like electric motors and better batteries are ready for widespread consumption. One such venture is EcoMotors International, which just got a rather large investment from one Bill Gates.
Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla has not been shy about making his bets on the automotive future known. Wherever there has been an opportunity to invest in or promote advanced ethanol, it seems Khosla was there, giving it at least a cursory look (see, for example, Coskata, which GM also invested in). He even described his "big biofuels bet" back in 2006.
Earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, EcoMotors showed off a small diesel powerplant which used the boxer or pancake style of horizontally opposed cylinders. The small company believes that its engine design can provide the power of a much larger engine while retaining the fuel savings of a small one. As always, we make no recommendations on what companies, if any, to invest in. So far, the company has received its funding from Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley. Now, t
I have got to tell you that the article linked to here is very long and takes a good while to get through. Then, after you have read the whole thing, you still need time to meditate on all of the points. But, after doing that, feel free to comment on some of the ideas that Vinod Khosla outlines and the points that he makes. I believe that some of what he has to say is true and has merit, but can't quite agree with everything. Here is a good point: "every coal-fired power plant is a ticking slow
Range Fuels, Inc., known until just the other day as Kergy, Inc., will build a cellulosic ethanol plant in Georgia to turn wood waste into the biofuel. Range Fuels says its proprietary cellulosic ethanol technology can turn wood chips, agricultural wastes, grasses, cornstalks, hog manure, municipal garbage, sawdust or paper pulp (whew) into ethanol. Without using enzymes, the K2 system first turns the biomass into a synthetic gas and then into ethanol.
It's no secret that Vinod Khosla likes ethanol. And he's more than willing to tell you about it. Or, in this case, David Brancaccio over at PBS' NOW. The subject of the show wasn't biofuels or ethanol per se, but "Corporate Compassion," so there's discussion about microlending along with the ethanol talk. You can listen to the show from links on this page.
When I hear the name Vinod Khosla three things immediately come to mind - lots and lots of money, Sun Microsystems and ethanol. If you're not familiar with Mr. Khosla, the first thing you need to grasp is that he's one of Silicon Valley's most influential people. In 1982, he co-founded Sun Microsystems. In 1986, he became a partner at one of the Valley's largest venture capital firms. And in 2004, he went off on his own to start Khosla Ventures. So why do we keep talking about him on AutoblogGre
Mascoma Corp., a company solely focused on converting cellulosic biomass to ethanol, announced last week that a new partnership with Dartmouth College will bring commercial production of cellulosic ethanol one step closer. The partnership gives Mascoma access to several of Dartmouth's patents, and is not too surprising, considering the history of Mascoma's co-founder. Dartmouth Engineering professor Lee Lynd (pictured), is an expert in microbial cellulose conversion and a cellulosic ethanol prod
Vinod Khosla, a socially conscious entrepreneur who funds clean energy ventures among others, is calling oil companies' bluffs on fuels not made from fossil fuels. Khosla (read more about him here and here) has offered to supply enough ethanol to the oil companies at a fixed price so they can sell it all across America at $1.99 a gallon and still make a tidy profit. All the company has to do it commit to buying Khosla's ethanol for five to seven years. So far, no one has taken him up on it.