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Hawai‘i Companies, Khosla and Brazil to Investigate Renewable Fuels, Including Cellulosic Ethanol

An international consortium including Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Grove Farm Company, and Kamehameha Schools today announced the formation of Hawai‘i BioEnergy, LLC. The group will join forces to research the viability of renewable energy crops, products and services in the state of Hawai‘i.

In addition to the Hawai‘i companies, consortium members include Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, lead venture capitalist, and ethanol advocate. (Earlier post.) Khosla has made substantial investments in private companies involved in ethanol research and development.

Also participating are two Brazilian companies, Brasil Bioenergia, formed by leading industrialist Ricardo Semler, and Tarpon Investments, an investment firm with expertise in Brazil’s energy sector.

Hawai‘i BioEnergy will identify potential fuel crops, processing techniques, and distribution channels for biofuels within the State. Besides sugarcane, the consortium will explore a variety of new enzymatic and advanced processing technologies that allow ethanol to be refined from switchgrass, pineapple by-products and other crops. The consortium invites participation by Hawai‘i’s other companies and major landowners as well as State and County agencies.


allen Z

They should also go for modified/non-modified OTEC to take advantage of waste/solar heat. It could provide for a source of power, water, minerals/metals and air conditioning for further industrialization, soil recomposition, and growth of the middle class in Brazil. The additional water (sea, and fresh) could be used for algae oil/biomass production. That would produce more fuel/energy than sugar cane or celluostic fuels could ever make. That said, plant waste derived fuel (ethanol, butanol) could find a niche as an oxygenate source.

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