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Vinod Khosla Eyes Georgia For Ethanol Venture

May 2007
Vinod Khosla Eyes Georgia For Ethanol Venture

There are 114 ethanol refineries in the States, with at least 80 more being currently built. Given this growing interest in alternative fuels, it's small wonder that Georgia wants a piece of the action. Which is what brings Vinod Khosla, the California-based venture capitalist, to the Peach State. Or perhaps one should say Pine State, since it's the wood waste from pine trees that will serve as the primary raw material for ethanol. The plant, to be built in Soperton, is being fully funded by Khosla Ventures. Considering that a quarter of every tree cut down is unused, the cellulosic biomass of this waste can be gainfully converted to ethanol. If cost-effective, now that the technology is available, Range Fuels will be able to produce 2 billion gallons of ethanol every year, becoming the first plant in the country to use cellulose rather than corn to do it.

Gober gas, made through the decomposition of cow dung, is widely used in rural India as an alternative energy source. But beyond villages, some eco-friendly destinations in the country are also taking advantage of this indigenous fuel. Besides conserving materials like coal and wood, gober gas causes less pollution because the units come equipped with smokeless stoves. In Kerala, for example, a combination of gober gas and solar power meets the energy needs of eco-lodges such as the famed treehouses.

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