May 29, 2006 The ECOnomics Environmental Business Plan Challenge provides a US$50,000 award for the business plan that best combines environmental innovation and profitability. Created by General Electric and The Wall Street Journal, the four finalists and winner of the award were recently announced and the quality of the ideas validated the exercise, with Robert Wright taking the gong for his Heated Air Spray Evaporation (HASE) Watervap technology (top of main pic) that will help solve the most universal human need: potable water. Another of the finalists, LiquidPiston, (bottom of main pic) was also a finalist of the prestigious MIT $50K Entrepreneurship competition. LiquidPiston is a novel internal combustion engine architecture, which is claimed to offer double the fuel efficiency of existing engines while drastically reducing pollutant emissions. The engine is based on a patent-pending "High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle" (HEHC) thermodynamic cycle, borrowing elements from Otto, Diesel, Atkinson, and Rankine cycles. The finalists of the competition can be found here.
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