Vinod Khosla, Cellulosic Ethanol, and Biomass Fuel Pathways — R-Squared Energy TV Ep. 16

In this week’s episode of R-Squared Energy TV, I answer a few questions about pathways to biofuels, cellulosic ethanol, and Vinod Khosla. I have to apologize this week, because the microphone was a bit away from my mouth, so the volume is lower than normal.

Some of the topics discussed this week are:

  • Some of the commercially viable pathways for turning biomass into energy
  • The prospects for drop-in fuels
  • The shift in Vinod Khosla’s optimism over the past 5 years
  • What I think Vinod’s statements to the Wall Street Journal really signal


The Wall Street Journal interview with Vinod and Daniel Yergin that I referenced in the video is How Long Will Fossil Fuels Dominate? I should make one clarification, in that I mentioned that KiOR is making pyrolysis oil which then has to be upgraded. Their claim is that the oil they produce is partially upgraded, and if this is accurate it would place it somewhere between pyrolysis oil and hydrocarbon fuel. The product must still be upgraded, but I have never seen a characterization of what they are producing to get an idea of how much upgrading is required.

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