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Khosla: Ethanol is just a stepping stone

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 AutoblogGreen? Because he's one of ethanol's most outspoken and enthusiastic proponents. His company has invested millions upon millions in ethanol companies such as Altra, Mascoma and Cilion.

You'd think that after investing so much money in an industry, you'd be parading around endorsing it. Well, Khosla has certainly done his share of that, however, at the California Clean Tech Open event last Tuesday, he withdrew some of that enthusiasm and said that ethanol probably won't be the ultimate fuel of the future. "Contrary to what you might believe," he said, "I think it's extremely unlikely that in 20 years we will be using any ethanol in cars." Instead, Khosla now believes that ethanol - even cellulosic ethanol - is a stepping stone to other alternative fuels. He points out that BP and DuPont are currently working on biobutanol while other Khosla Ventures companies are researching fuels that are better than both ethanol and butanol.

I don't imagine the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) or any other ethanol organization is going to ask him to speak at their next pep rally.

[Source: Red Herring]

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