• Bio
    Synthetic Biology Is Not Just Good, It’s Good For You Crunch Network

    Synthetic Biology Is Not Just Good, It’s Good For You

    Synthetic biology (synbio for short) is a term that circulates freely through the tech world, but what exactly does it mean? It inspires both excitement and concern, depending on application and context. To advance uses of synthetic biology we need to promote better understanding of what these technologies mean, and how they can be used to improve the world around us in new and exciting ways. Read More

  • Algae Biofuels Maker Solazyme Goes Public, Finally, Raking In $197.6 Million

    Shares in Solazyme, the makers of algae biofuels and algae-based oils and chemicals used in health and beauty products, began trading on Nasdaq under the symbol SZYM.O on Friday. The business set an initial public offering price at $18, but its stock opened at $20 and traded between $19.60 and $22.00 throughout the day, with 10.98 million shares sold, raising about $197.6 million for the… Read More

  • Cobalt Technologies Raises $20 Million To Make Plant-Based Jet Fuel And Paint

    Cobalt Technologies, a cleantech startup in Mountain View that develops and makes biobutanol, closed a $20 million series D funding round, the company revealed today. The investment arm of Parsons & Whittemore (the Whittemore Collection) led the round, joined by all of Cobalt’s earlier venture backers: Pinnacle Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, VantagePoint Capital… Read More

  • Can I Get Some Sustainability With That Shake?

    This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued Energy Star ratings for large vat commercial fryers. These appliances are used by high-volume dining establishments — like fast food chains, institutional cafeterias and full-service restaurants— to make french fries, hush puppies and anything else Paula Deen would promote, in bulk. Encouraging the industry to upgrade… Read More

  • CoolPlanetBiofuels Draws Google Ventures Investment To Make Gas From Grass

    CoolPlanetBiofuels — a company that converts grass, woodchips, and other non-food crops and farm residue into high-grade fuel — attracted a series B investment From Google Ventures, the companies revealed Thursday. Based in Camarillo, Calif. CoolPlanet claims its biofuel products are not just net zero, but “negative carbon fuels,” because the byproducts from making… Read More

  • SG Biofuels Cultivates $9.4 Million Series A Investment

    San Diego-based SG Biofuels secured a series A investment of $9.4 million led by two privately held companies involved in the development of renewable energy, chemicals and biotechnology, Flint Hills Resources in Kansas, and Life Technologies Corporation in Carlsbad, Calif. SG Biofuels catalogs, develops and produces seeds for a crop called Jatropha, which is a drought-resistant plant used to… Read More

  • Solazyme Provides U.S. Navy with Algal Jet Fuel

    Biofuel producer Solazyme delivered 1,500 gallons of its algae-based jet fuel to the U.S. Navy’s testing and certification program today, helping the military reach its goal of switching half of its fleet to clean fuel by 2020. The Navy will use the fuel to power jets. Solazyme produces fuel by fermenting algae to create oils and biomaterials including fuel, skin care, chemical and … Read More

  • Nippon Oil and Hitachi aim at mass-producing microbe-derived biofuel

    Major Japanese oil wholesaler Nippon Oil and Hitachi subsidiary Hitachi Plant Technologies are developing a technology that’s supposed to make it possible to mass-produce eco-friendly jet fuel from Euglena, single-celled organisms that live in ponds and lakes. To be more exact, both companies are cooperating with and acquired shares in a Tokyo-based venture called Euglena, Inc., which… Read More

  • Plant-based plastics promise perkier peat

    Do you know how hard that headline was to write? So hard! Anyway, scientists at Imperial College London found a form of degradable polymer made of sugar which would, in theory, allow you to add your plastic bottles to your compost pile and watch them degrade into happy, healthy plant food. Read More

  • Another Biofuel Airplane

    Just 8 months after Virgin Atlantic flew a 747 from London to Amsterdam on coconut and babassu nut biofuel, Air New Zealand has done it also. Read More

  • Going green: So, is biofuel actually in our best interests?

    Using excess or leftover corn as a fuel source sure sounded like a good idea, especially here in the U.S. Let’s get our farmers from, I don’t, Iowa, to set aside a certain percentage of arable land for the production of fuel corn. (The term “fuel corn” may or may not exist, but it should if it doesn’t.) This corn, rather than being used for food, would be used for… Read More

  • Yum, self-digesting corn creates delicious ethanol

    First of all, I think it should be said that the whole corn-as-fuel idea is a red herring when it comes to alternative energy. The corn industry is a bloated mess and throwing the demands of widespread biofuel use into the mix would probably push it beyond the breaking point and make for some really weird corn politics. That said, if the process of fueling some things with corn is made easier… Read More

  • Biofuel producers catching heat amid rise in food price

    There’s been riots over the rise in food prices. You may heave heard about, or even seen first-hand, rising food costs. (As have I—milk is how much?) Just be grateful you’re not a biofuel producer, since those guys are feeling some heat, namely for “crimes against humanity.” That’s a hard accusation to shake, methinks. Certain individuals are blaming… Read More

  • Grease thief thieves grease, cops cop fop

    Why can’t anyone take a dignified mugshot anymore? This man, David Richardson, was arrested for trying to steal used cooking grease from a Burger King. He was to use the grease for his biofuel Wacky Races car. While I agree he should have been arrested for even going to a Burger King—I’m a Howard Dean-loving, latte-drinking, New York liberal*—he should have known better. Read More

  • Biofuel-powered Virgin Atlantic 747 flies from London to Amsterdam

    [photopress:vacoconut.jpg,full,center] A Virgin Atlantic airplane fueled by a coconut and babassu nut biofuel mixture flew from London to Amsterdam at the weekend. It was the first commercial airline to fly on a biofuel mixture, something that Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson said would forever change the way the airline industry operates. Before you run around, telling your friends that… Read More

  • Virgin 747 to go from London to Amsterdam on biofuel

      Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic airline will conduct a test flight at the end of the month wherein a Boeing 747 will fly from London to Amsterdam using an 80/20 blend of conventional fuel and biofuel, respectively. The plane will carry no passengers but will be “the first time a commercial aircraft has flown on biofuel,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Read More