Academia May Be Answer to Cash Woes

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The easy part was finding chemists to develop the fuel. The hard part was coming up with the money to finance it. After receiving 103 rejections from potential Wall Street backers, they sought comfort in the welcoming arms of academia. The company, Pure Energy, became a licensee of Princeton University, which supported its development wholeheartedly. That gave the potion credibility and turned nearly two years of nays into resounding yeas — and cash.

"All of a sudden, we had two investment banking firms," recalls Scott Dunlop.

The testing has just begun. The more environmentally friendly fuel is being tested on Ford Tauruses equipped with a sensor that tells how much alcohol is in the fuel, allowing the car to use traditional gasoline and Pure Energy. Soon, they'll be filling up Windstar vans for practice runs.

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