• Bio
    YC-Backed Industrial Microbes Is Engineering Bacteria To Produce Chemicals From Natural Gases

    YC-Backed Industrial Microbes Is Engineering Bacteria To Produce Chemicals From Natural Gases

    The trio of synthetic biologists behind Industrial Microbes, a new East Bay-based startup backed by Y Combinator, have had years of experience in working with biofuels. They met at LS9, a biofuels startup that took more than $80 million of venture investment through the height of the cleantech wave and sought to create fuels from specially engineered bacteria. From a venture perspective, LS9… Read More

  • Can Municipal Waste Power Our Cars?

    Can Municipal Waste Power Our Cars?

    One future source of green energy may be as close as the nearest dumpster thanks to companies vying to make fuel from trash. Enerkem, based in Montreal, and Fiberight, in Maryland, hope to turn municipal waste into energy in new biorefineries. Enerkem has been around since 2000 and owns several facilities in Canada. Its pilot plant, in Sherbrooke, Quebec, turns used electricity poles into… Read More

  • D.O.E. Grants $83 Million To Biofuels Startups (Not One Of Them In Silicon Valley)

    Maybe it’s just a biofuels thing this year, but it seems like the feds are giving cleantech grant money to companies and institutions that are based anywhere but in the nation’s capital of venture capital. The U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced six recipients of $36 million in total grant funding via the Department of Energy’s Biomass Program on Friday. That… Read More

  • Gevo, A Branson-Backed Biofuels Maker, Goes Public And Nets $95.7 Million

    A Richard Branson- and Khosla Ventures-backed biofuels and biochemicals maker, Gevo, raised $107 million, netting an estimated $95.7 million after expenses and underwriting discounts, in an initial public offering yesterday. The company’s technology and chemical processes use yeast biocatalysts to make isobutanol from sugar. Gevo’s biofuels and biochemicals will offer an alternative… Read More

  • Metabolix Oilseeds Gets $203,000 Grant To Test 'False Flax' As Possible Petroleum Replacement

    A Cambridge, Mass. biosciences company that makes plastics, chemicals and energy from renewable crops rather than petroleum, Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX) today announced that its subsidiary, Metabolix Oilseeds, obtained a $203,000 grant from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture (or USD $203,614.92) to test a crop called Camelina Sativa, or false flax, as a possible petroleum… Read More

  • U.S.D.A. Giving INEOS Bio $75 Million Loan To Make Ethanol From Waste

    INEOS New Planet BioEnergy — a joint venture between the biofuels division of the chemicals company INEOS, and waste management and biofuel facility consultants New Planet Energy — secured a $75 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery Assistance Program, the government agency confirmed today. The company plans to use the money to construct… Read More

  • New Yeast With High Alcohol Tolerance Could Improve Biofuel Production

    At the intriguing intersection of green tech and microbial genomics lies a new discovery that could make biofuel production more efficient and affordable. That discovery is a strain of yeast with above-average alcohol tolerance. Biofuels are made by fermenting crops, and when yeast is used to convert sugars into biomass, the fermentation can create familiar alcohol-based fuels like ethanol… Read More

  • Additech's $4.6 Million Additive Funding

    This week Additech, a fuel systems maintenance and software business in Houston, scored a $4.6 million investment SEC filings revealed. The company’s earlier backers Adams Capital Management, BEV Capital and 9 individual angels provided the tranche money. To date, Additech has raised about $35 million. The chairman of Additech, Ralph Koehrer, explained in an e-mail that his company will… Read More

  • BP Buys Verenium's Biofuel Business For $98 Million

    As oil continues to spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is looking towards alternatives such as biofuels. BP announced today that it will acquire the cellulosic biofuels business of Verenium. The $98.3 million deal includes Verenium’s biofuel facilities in Jennings, LA and San Diego, CA. But it doesn’t include Verenium’s commercial enzyme business, and allows Verenium to develop… Read More