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Man turns beans into energy

Company aims to replace petrol components

Posted: September 4, 2008 8:02 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
David Lee founded BioSolar in Santa Clarita about two years ago with an idea to replace the petroleum found in photovoltaic modules that are used in solar cells.

With growing pressure on businesses worldwide to develop green technology, Lee's idea is becoming a reality.

Materials from cotton and castor beans compose the company's BioBacksheet, a protective covering, typically made from petroleum-based film, that is used in photovoltaic solar cells.

By using cotton and castor beans, BioSolar hopes to create high-demand products through the use of renewable resources.

"BioSolar's mission is ultimately to eliminate petroleum consumption by the photovoltaic (PV) industry, making solar energy a truly green source of energy," Lee wrote. "Our approach is to replace petroleum-based PV components by durable bio-based materials made from renewable resources."

Lee, an 18-year Santa Clarita resident, sees the BioBacksheet as the first component that not only makes solar energy even more of a green option for electricity, but also as a more cost-effective solution.

The BioBacksheet is currently moving from the pre-production stages in the laboratory to full production, Lee said.

"We want to make sure all the characteristics are exhibited by laboratory samples also consistently transition into full-scale production," he said. "At the same time, we are continuing to improve the product for quality, simplicity and cost-effectiveness."

He estimates that samples will be available by the end of the year.

The final goal is to eliminate fossil fuel from the production of green technology.

"BioSolar believes that the right green solution is also the one that reduces cost, thus making it easier for people to switch from fossil fuel into greener energy," Lee said. "This results in cleaner air, less dependence on foreign oil and promoting faster economic growth in the U.S."

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