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Burst of Energy

Forward-thinking entrepreneurs are making leaps and bounds in the field of renewable clean energy. How can you get involved?

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This story appears in the February 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Walk through the maze of metal kegs, six-packs of boutique beer,and cartons of pop, juice and fruity syrup on Tim Curtiss'production floor, and you'll think for a minute that you'rein a beverage warehouse. However, these are just raw materials forLiquid Resources of Ohio LLC in Medina, Ohio. Beverage companiespay Curtiss, 45, to take out-of-date or flawed products off theirhands. Curtiss' company then smashes the containers and,through fermentation and distillation, converts the liquid contentsinto fuel-grade ethanol.

Launched in 2003, Liquid Resources has the capacity to produceabout 3 million gallons of ethanol a year. As both gas prices andfears of global warming rise, ethanol looks better and better-itburns far cleaner than gasoline and reduces our reliance on oilimports. Most cars already use fuel that contains up to 10 percentethanol-usually produced from corn -- but Curtiss says some expertsthink cars could run on a mix of up to 40 percent ethanol. Manycity buses run on fuel that's 85 percent ethanol.

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