Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Top 50" in biofuels according to Biofuels Digest

'The 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy' according to Biofuels Digest on 22 Dec 08:

1. Coskata

2. Sapphire Energy

3. Virent Energy Systems


5. Range Fuels

6. Solazyme

7. Amyris Biotechnologies

8. Mascoma

9. DuPont Danisco

10. UOP

11. ZeaChem

12. Aquaflow Bionomic

13. Bluefire Ethanol

14. Novozymes

15. Qteros

16. Petrobras

17. Cobalt Biofuels

18. Iogen

19. Synthetic Genomics

20. Abengoa Energy

21. KL Energy


23. GreenFuel

24. Vital Renewable Energy

25. LS9

26. Raven Biofuels

27. Gevo

28. St.1 Biofuels Oy

29. Primafuel

30. Taurus Energy

31. Ceres

32. Syngenta

33. Aurora Biofuels

34. Bionavitas

35. Algenol

36. Verenium

37. Simply Green

38. Carbon Green


40. Osage Bioenergy

41. Dynamotive

42. Sustainable Power

43. ETH Bioenergia

44. Choren

45. Origin Oil

46. Propel Fuels

47. GEM Biofuels

48. Lake Erie Biofuels

49. Cavitation Technologies

50. Lotus/Jaguar - Omnivore

Of "where are they in February?", note a Feb. 09 post at GreenLight:

It’s been tough times recently for companies seeking to make commercial quantities of “next-generation” ethanol made from non-food sources like wood chips, switch grass or municipal waste.

Irvine, Calif.-based BlueFire Ethanol recently postponed by six months its plans to start building a $130 million ethanol plant in Mecca, Calif. this year (see BlueFire Ethanol to Build $130M Plant in Mecca), saying it only had about $20 million of the plant’s projected $100 million cost in hand.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Verenium (NSDQ: VRNM), which announced last month that it was ready to build a 36 million gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant in Florida for between $250 million and $300 million, faced delisting from the Nasdaq exchange in December, and reported a loss of $133.24 million in the third quarter of 2008, a big drop from a loss of $19.88 million in the same quarter of 2007 (see Verenium Plans Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Florida).

And Warrenville, Ill.-based Coskata Inc. has said it might have to postpone from 2010 to 2011 its plans for a $100 million cellulosic ethanol plant. Still in the works is its exploration of building a $400 million, 100 million gallon-per-year plant in partnership with U.S. Sugar Corp. (see Coskata Lining Up Sugary Deal).

The slow going for cellulosic ethanol companies could stymie the federal government’s goal of getting 100 million gallons of the stuff by 2010, according to research firm ThinkEquity, which estimates that only 28.5 million gallons will be available by then (see Consumers to Pick Up Tab for Off-Target Cellulosic Ethanol Industry).

***Separately, bnet wrote:

Sapphire is worth keeping an eye on mainly because it recently drew so much attention from investors. The company hasn’t talked extensively about its technology, although it did tell me last year that it will grow exotic strains of algae in open ponds of otherwise unusable water.

Algenol, on the other hand, appears to be moving along at a faster clip. The company claimed last year that it would be able to produce a billion gallons a year of algal biofuel by 2012. After that sort of announcement, and given the history of boastful algae companies, it seemed far more likely the outfit would quietly disappear.

But the company just told Clean Technology Insight that it’s already ordering the bioreactors that it plans to grow its algae in, with plans to start production this year. It will place its first US plant in Florida or Texas, and already has one under development in Sonora, Mexico with a company called BioFields.

It’s hard to believe in algae given the fuel source’s history of failures — in fact, less than a month ago, one of the oldest companies in the space, Greenfuel Technologies, laid off over half its staff and pushed back deadlines. But with all the effort going into the sector, it wouldn’t be surprising to finally see a success, either.
[IPBiz: note GreenFuel is no. 23 on the Biofuels list.]

UPDATE. For some insight into Greenfuel's patent applications, see listing on ipexl.

UPDATE. from

Venice will be producing electricity from two types of algae that are brought in clinging to ships and regularly grow over the seaport. The algae will be cultivated and treated in laboratories to turn it into fuel. The fuel will then be used to power turbines in a new 40 MW power plant in the center of the city.

In order to make the new power plant truly carbon neutral, any CO2 produced by the process will be fed back to the algae.

The innovative project will cost the city $264 million and should be operating in two years.

[IPBiz post 4700]

UPDATE, 15 Sept 2011

Today, Woods continues to move ahead with plans to build a refining company headquartered in Bonita Springs that will use algae to generate ethanol for 85 cents per gallon, or about half the cost of petroleum today.

Big money is backing his efforts. Woods says an undisclosed Asian energy company recently pledged $100 million for Algenol to build out a 30-acre test facility in Bonita Springs in south Lee County. If the facility is as successful as Woods says it will be, that company might license the technology to build four large-scale facilities at a total cost of $3.4 billion.

Woods and his partners, including a Mexican heir to the Corona beer family, already have invested $70 million into Algenol. They’ve landed $10 million in incentives from Lee County and another $25 million grant from the federal government. Valero Energy Corp. is a partner.

Woods isn’t deterred by the fact that Algenol might not start making sales until 2013 because he says it takes years and huge financial resources to build refineries. Frozen capital markets and the federal government’s uncertain energy policies have hampered his efforts, he says.


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