Renewable Fuels’ Dunkirk

by Jim Lane It’s been a very busy week in Washington DC, the high point being a letter to seven senators sent late Thursday by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who took significant (and as of a few days ago, unexpected) steps toward strengthening the foundation for ethanol and renewable fuels. The truth? It’s a Trump Administration back-down. EPA overreached on de-clawing the Renewable Fuel Standard on behalf on some grumpy oilpatch donors (known as GODs), and the Trump Administration managed to revive a Grand Alliance around renewable fuels — one that now includes almost 40 members of the United States Senate,...

Total and Amyris Take Another Step Down The Aisle Towards Commercial Biofuels

Jim Lane Total elects to bottle up the IP and protect itself against Amyris “hardship” as it advances towards commercializing key biofuels. In California and France, Amyris (AMRS) and Total announced the formation of Total Amyris BioSolutions B.V., a 50-50 joint venture that now holds exclusive rights and a license under Amyris’s intellectual property to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel from Amyris’s renewable farnesene. Amyris also plans to initiate sales of renewable jet fuel in Brazil once it achieves ASTM validation. “The joint-venture Total Amyris Biosolutions is a first step towards the...

Energy Independence Day

Jim Lane Independence Day Celebration photo via BigStock  Yesterday, in the United States the bands and bunting were on display, because it was Independence Day. But is freedom really sustainable, without energy independence too? It would be a sweeter thing, political independence, if it were accompanied by more energy independence. For examples, choices at the pump that didn’t involve wealth transfers to people who oppose the principle of ballot boxes. But before there is energy independence, there has to be more freedom from the entropy that...

Gevo and Butamax Make Peace

Jim Lane In Delaware and Colorado, Gevo (GEVO) and Butamax have entered into worldwide patent cross-license and settlement agreements, ending a patent dispute related to technologies for the production of bio-based isobutanol. This settlement ends all of the lawsuits and creates a new relationship between the companies, aimed at leveraging each other’s strengths and accelerating development of competitive supply for bio-based isobutanol. The cross-license agreement grants both parties patent licenses to all fields for isobutanol and is structured to develop robust and sustainable isobutanol markets. The license will be royalty bearing for Butamax in certain fields...

Renewable Energy Group Acquires LS9

Jim Lane A stunner at NBB. Renewable Energy Group (REGI) deploys its balance sheet and takes aim at renewable chemicals as it acquires the storied LS9. In Iowa, Renewable Energy Group (REGI) announced it has acquired LS9 for a purchase price of up to $61.5 million, consisting of up front and earnout payments, in stock and cash. Most of the LS9 team, including the entire R&D leadership group, will join the newly named REG Life Sciences, LLC, which will operate out of LS9’s headquarters in South San Francisco, CA. Under the terms of the agreement between REG...

KiOR IPO: One Year Later

by Debra Fiakas CFA One year ago biofuel developer KiOR, Inc. (KIOR:  Nasdaq) raised $150 million in through its initial public offering.  The anniversary seems like an appropriate time to revisit the company’s progress  -  and valuation of KiOR shares. KiOR’s claims its demonstration plant proves its proprietary catalysts dramatically accelerate the conversion of biomass into hydrocarbons.  KiOR’s bio-crude can then be put through conventional “cracking” processes to transform the bio-crude to gasoline and other petroleum products.  The company claims yields of 67 gallons of fuel per bone dry ton of biomass such as wood...

Are IPOs good for early-stage companies and advanced biofuels?

Jim Lane Money trap photo via Bigstock  $104 million Elevance private financing round larger than last two IPOs; puts IPOs in focus; do the benefits outweigh the costs? Do advanced biofuels companies really need to be “thinking IPO”, industry leaders were asking this week after Elevance Renewable Sciences announced that it has raised $104 million in its Series E financing round. Lacustrine Limited via Genting Genomics Limited, wholly owned by Genting Berhad, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia led the round with Total Energy Ventures International, based in...

Gevolution 2014: Gevo’s Progress, And Detours

Jim Lane This week, Gevo (GEVO) reported its year-end results, generally in line with expectations, with a $0.35 loss per share and $24.6M in the bank. Given the company’s rate of progress with isobutanol, the cash burn rate, the low share price, and high prices for ethanol the company announced that it is “transitioning the Luverne plant to the production of both isobutanol and ethanol…Producing both ethanol and isobutanol allows Gevo to fully utilize the Luverne plant and increase cash flow as Gevo continues to commercialize its isobutanol production capabilities.” “Our original vision was to focus...

No Eeyores for KiOR

Jim Lane Analysts are bullish as KiOR’s (KIOR) drop-in biofuels technology transitions to commercial phase – what factors are driving all the good vibes? There are a lot of Eeyores around the advanced biofuels space these days – well, around the United States and to a great extent the EU as a whole, really. Gloomy, pessimistic, chronically depressed. Investors have been, in a similar mood, hammering advanced biofuels and biobased material stocks – in some cases to within a few bucks of cash on hand. KiOR, by contrast, has been generally able to create and sustain its...

Alaska Airlines and Gevo to Demonstrate Alchohol-to-Jet Fuel

In Colorado, Gevo (GEVO) and Alaska Airlines announced a strategic alliance to purchase Gevo’s renewable jet fuel and fly the first-ever commercial flight on alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ). The demonstration flight is expected to occur after Gevo receives ASTM International certification for its fuel, sometime in mid to late 2015. Gevo has been working through the rigorous ASTM process for six years, which includes extensive engine testing and data analysis by all of the major original equipment manufacturers to establish the specification for this drop in fuel. Once approved, this fuel can be seamlessly integrated into the existing distribution...

Earth to Cellulosic Ethanol: Glad You’re Here, What Took So Long?

Jim Lane  Part I of II Cellulosic ethanol arrives at scale “The five years away forever” put to rest but are there troubling waters still ahead? For whom, and why? There’s a gigantic disconnect between two sections in the country as to whether the United States should be celebrating the success or the failure of cellulosic biofuels biofuels made from crop residues, energy crops, and other feedstocks including municipal solid waste, and which feature a 60 percent or greater full-lifecycle reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional gasoline. The supporters On the one...
Biodiesel pump

List of Biodiesel Stocks

Biodiesel stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves producing biodiesel made from oils and fats for use as a fuel diesel engines, either alone or blended with petroleum derived diesel. Common feedstocks include soybean oil, palm oil, and waste oils from the food industry.  Biodiesel is the most widely produced and used advanced biofuel, and all biodiesel stocks are also biofuel stocks. China Clean Energy Inc. (CCGY) FutureFuel Corp. (FF) Green Star Products, Inc. (GSPI) Greenshift Corporation (GERS) Methes Energies International (MEIL) Neste Oil (NEF.F) PetroSun, Inc. (PSUD) RDX Technologies, Inc. (RDX.V) Renewable Energy Group (REGI) If you know of any biodiesel stock that is not listed here...

Gevo Restarts Production

Jim Lane As Gevo recommences the switchover to bio-based isobutanol at its first commercial plant, we look in-depth at 2012′s contamination issues and the prospects and path forward. In Colorado, Gevo, Inc. (NASD:GEVO) announced that it has resumed commercial production of isobutanol at its Luverne, Minn. plant in single train mode, successfully utilizing its proprietary Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT). “I am pleased to report that we have been successful in operating our full scale fermentation and our GIFT separation system that separates the isobutanol from the fermentation broth. This serves to further validate our...

Brew-ha-ha: Is Amyris’ Brazillian JV Over?

Jim Lane In a Brazilian securities filing, with respect to the Joint Venture between São Martinho and Amyris (AMRS), Sao Martinho reports “the non-achievement of certain contractual targets by Amyris, impacting the viability of the project. Thus, Sao Martinho decides not to approve the continuation of the Joint Venture Plant construction with the US company Amyris Inc. and its Brazilian subsidiary Amyris Brazil Ltda.” The company did not elaborate as to which contractural targets were not achieved by Amyris. In the filing, Sao Martinho added: “Amyris may provide new information regarding the project feasibility in...

Earnings Season For The BioEconomy: Novozymes, Green Plains & Pacific Ethanol

Jim Lane  In the first half of November we will be hearing from a slew of companies regarding Q3 earnings but earnings season is well underway already, and we have good indicators from the likes of Novozymes, Clariant, BP, Pacific Ethanol and Green Plains about the overall environment for energy, speciality chemicals, industrial biotechnology and specifically, biofuels. Let’s take a look. Industrial biotechnology robust growth at Novozymes. Also this week, Novozymes (NVZMY) announced 9% organic sales growth for Q3 and 8 percent growth for the nine months of 2014 to date. The company is...

BYOB: Bio-Yachts On Butanol

Jim Lane In Washington, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced support of the use of fuels blended with up to 16 percent biobutanol in recreational marine engines. This decision follows five years of evaluation performed by NMMA with the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), under the direction and guidance of the U.S. Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory, and in partnership with the US Coast Guard, Gevo and Butamax. During this time, the NMMA has gathered a great amount of data supporting the viability of isobutanol as the preferred renewable fuel blendstock for gasoline-powered marine engines....