But anyway, if you know Khosla’s biofuel portfolio at all, there are a couple of options: KiOR, Coskata, or LS9. (Let me know if you think I missed one.) It’s decidedly not Range Fuels (hopefully!), as they stopped running their plant recently. My bet would be on KiOR or Coskata.
While Coskata has been under the radar, seemingly stalled during the downturn, it recently received a letter of intent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a $250 million loan guarantee to build a plant to make ethanol from woody biomass. Now, unlike KiOR’s term sheet, that’s an actual award. Coskata has plans to build a plant that will have the capacity to make 55 million gallons per year.
Coskata uses a hybrid of thermochemical and biological steps, and basically takes feedstock and gasifies it; the resulting bacteria then converts the syngas to ethanol. Coskata is working with five strains of bacteria that “breathe” syngas and “exhale” almost pure ethanol, in contrast with other methods, which produce a variety of alcohols. Coskata raised funding from General Motors, Advanced Technology Ventures, Great Point Ventures and the Blackstone Group, among others.
On a lawsuit involving Coskata, look within the IPBiz post Eric Lane on Gevo
Coskata receives unfavorable Office Action on clostridium (11/441,392)
[As a followup, the most recent action in the case was a response to a nonfinal action which was mailed on 24 Feb. 2011. The current matter relates to a Statement to Support Deposit of Biological Material. The published application document is 2007-0275447 A1 .