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Bloom Box: Frequently asked questions

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Bloom Box creates electricity thanks to a chemical reaction between oxygen and fuel. The system can use fossil fuels, such as natural gas, or renewable fuels, such as bio-gas and even solar.

What kind of power-generating capacity does it have?

Each skinny fuel cell could power one light bulb. One refrigerator-sized Bloom Box, comprised of two stacks of fuel cells, could power an average US home (or two European homes, or four to six homes in India, depending on energy consumption levels). About 64 stacks of fuel cells could power a small business, such as a Starbucks franchise.

Who’s the person behind the invention?

Aerospace engineer K.R. Sridhar is CEO of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Bloom Energy. Before founding Bloom Energy, Dr. Sridhar was a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, as well as director of the Space Technologies Laboratory at the University of Arizona. Sridhar once made devices for NASA, including one similar to the Bloom Box.

Who’s financing the venture?

Venture capitalist John Doerr, the man who funded Netscape, Amazon, and Google, is financing Sridhar’s invention to the tune of some $400 million. Other board members include former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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