Venture capitalists are dumping an unspecified amount of money into a company called Transonic Combustion… a company working on engine compnents that would be able to run on any type of fuel – biodiesel, ethanol, gasoline, vegetable oils – just about anything.
The somewhat secretive company has come up with a highly efficient combustion system for conventional engines that increases gas mileage. It also allows cars to run on different fuels, which could help goose sales of things like biodiesel. There are other techniques for allowing engines to run on a variety of fuels, but they aren’t widespread. Transonic has built single-cylinder prototypes and will now try to build a four cylinder engine. It hopes to demonstrate the technology to the auto industry more fully in 2008.