May 17, 2011 SDF Biofuels: Sugar Vs. Oil

On May 17, 2011 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum presented  a Clean Tech Breakfast on “Biofuels- Is Sugar the New Oil?” Thomas Lord of PricewaterhouseCoopers moderated panelists Kef Kasdin of Proterro, Aaron Moser of LS9, Brook Porter of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Greg Young of Burrill & Company. They discussed the instability of oil supplies and the promise of biofuels. The rising price of oil and food is leading to political and social unrest around the world. Brazil and other countries have made great progress but other countries are facing the choice between food and fuel security.

The solution is to find waste that cannot be used as food for animals or people. Another way is to make the Protose sugar that is not based on agricultural products but on the fermentation process.

You could also find a stable commodity feedstock and genetically modify a bug to create the special chemicals you need. Make a fuel for a particular market like aviation to avoid a competitive race to the bottom making ordinary ethanol.

The continuing problem with biofuels is that you are still burning something and creating carbon dioxide. Biofuels could act as a transitional technology to more environmentally efficient energy sources.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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