Veridium Receives Order to Increase Ethanol Production Efficiencies

Veridium Corp. (VRDM.OB) announced its receipt of an order from a Wisconsin based ethanol producer for the second stage of Veridium's patent-pending Corn Oil Extraction Systems(TM). Veridium's proprietary new Corn Oil Extraction Systems(TM) extract high grade corn oil from an ethanol by-product called distillers dried grain ("DDG"). Currently, the majority of ethanol production is based on a dry milling technique that utilizes more than 1 billion bushels of corn to produce 3 billion gallons per year of ethanol. The dry mill process converts the starch from the kernel of corn into sugar and then the sugar into ethanol....

Biochar’s Likely Market Impacts

Biochar is still mostly a research and cottage industry, yet it has the potential to impact returns for a broad range of investors. Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Biochar, or amending soil with biomass-derived carbon, shows great potential to improve the productivity of soils, as well as to increase the utilization of fertilizers by plants, while sequestering carbon to reduce the drivers of climate change.  On August 10, I went to the 2009 North American Biochar Conference to look at the potential for investors.  Before I went, I took a look at the publicly traded companies...

Homemade Bio-Diesel Maker In A Taxing Situation

An Eastern Iowan made his own fuel to save money, but now the state says not so fast. The state wants to make sure it doesn't miss out on its tax money... ...The tax would be 22 and a half cents a gallon. The same as diesel. He makes anywhere from five to twenty gallons of biodiesel a month. At the most, it would mean an additional four dollars to the state each month. Toal-Rossi says, "I'm not opposed to paying the tax, it's really the paperwork that's more of a hassle for me." Never...

Rentech After Fischer-Tropsch

by Debra Fiakas CFA A long article appearing in early March 2014 on Biofuels Digest about Emerging Fuels Technology (EFT) gave me pause.  The article has since been removed from the site but it was an interesting primer on Oklahoma-based EFT’s use of the Fischer-Tropsch process to convert carbon-based feedstock to liquid fuel, otherwise called Gas-to-Liquids. While Emerging Fuels Technology has been listed in Crystal Equity Research’s Alternative Chemicals Group of the Beach Boys Index of companies trying to harness energy from the sun through biomas, I must admit the company had not been taken seriously.  ...

Veridium Updates License for Exclusive Rights to CO2 Bioreactor

Veridium Corp. (VRDM.OB) announced its execution of an amended license agreement with Ohio University ("Ohio") for its patented bioreactor process for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuelled combustion processes. Veridium's original license with Ohio provided for non-exclusive rights to the technology for the purpose of processing exhaust gas streams from electrical utility power generation facilities, and exclusive rights to the technology for applications involving all other sources. The amended license agreement increases the scope of Veridium's license to provide for exclusivity in all applications, including electrical utility power generation facilities.
crops

Marrone Bio Innovations: Answers for Agricultural Angst

by Debra Fiakas, CFA The world needs more food.   At least more of the food produced in the world’s fields needs to end up in the mouths of humans and their animal friends.  According to the United Nations, the world’s farmers produce enough food to feed everyone, yet over 800 million people routinely go hungry.  This is due in part to the ancient and ongoing practice of selecting plants for high yield.  The consequence is a selection of highly homogenous food crops.  There are thousands of edible plants growing on Planet Earth, but only a dozen crops account for 75% of all human calories.  Lack of...

Energy stocks for the conscience-driven

The CS Monitor has a good article about the investment potential of Alternative Energy stocks. "You can't ride off into the sunset with a hydrogen-powered SUV - or to a middle-class solar home. But as the decades-long transition away from oil begins to take shape, some ethical investors sense a bonanza. "

Trash Stocks Trashed: An Income Opportunity?

Tom Konrad CFA Dumpster diving for high yielding gems. An earlier version of this article was written at the end of July and published on my Forbes blog, before the August market implosion. I've updated it here to reflect the new stock prices and some recent company news. Renewable energy has many advantages over fossil energy.  One of the most important is that it's renewable.  As supplies of Oil and other fossil fuels are used up, they become harder and more expensive to extract, while renewable energy is generally getting cheaper over time,...

Philadelphia to bring ‘Green’ Energy to the World

Green Energy Resources, Inc. (GRGR) announced today the opening of a port facility in Philadelphia. The port will export up to 1 million tons annually of wood biomass internationally. The renewable energy industry has created an opportunity for the United States to become energy exporters. Philadelphia joins several other cities exporting wood biomass, including Cape Canaveral, Fla., Mobile, Ala., Wilmington, N.C., and Baltimore, Md. Green Energy Resources is looking to open facilities in New York, Tampa, Fla., and California in the future.

Biochar and Activated Carbon Markets

Biochar and Activated Carbon Markets by Hugh McLaughlin, PhD., PE Biochar is an emerging market; growing rapidly, still in its infancy, but with gigaton market potential when we, as in humanity, start addressing the climate crisis. Activated carbons are a mature market of about one million tons annual production, which is growing slowly. They are basically like fraternal twins; they have a lot in common, they share the same world, and they are different. First, let’s explain the basic difference between THREE materials: activated carbon, charcoal and biochar. Activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal and several...

Rentech: Pulp, Pellets and Fertilizer

by Debra Fiakas CFA A shareholder group has taken aim at alternative energy and fertilizer producer Rentech, Inc. (RTK:  Nasdaq), offering a slate of nominees for the next election of directors.  They claim Rentech management is overpaid and doing a very poor job of executing on the company’s strategic plans.  The nominees were a focus of discussion in the last post.  Now we will take a closer look at Rentech’s operations. The majority of Rentech’s revenue is generated from the sale of fertilizer products from the Company’s plants in Dubuque, Iowa and Pasadena, California.  Rentech earns...

Intrepid Commences Major Expansion at Alternative Fuel Plant

Intrepid Technology and Resources, Inc. (IESV) announced that it has ordered the additional eight digester tanks and has begun the excavation work to accommodate the five-fold expansion of their operating Whitesides Biogas Production Plant near Rupert, Idaho. This expansion will take Intrepid's annualized gas production to as high as 95,000 mcf annually, a quantity sufficient to heat 1,000 homes in the Boise, Idaho area.

Don’t Let Waste Go to Waste

Marc Gunther Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It sounds simple. It’s not. Just ask Bill Caesar, who runs the recycling and organic growth units of Waste Management (WM), America’s biggest trash company, which has $13.3 billion in revenues last year. It’s hard to get many cities and towns to embrace recycling. It’s hard to get homeowners to figure out which plastics go into which bin. It’s expensive to build out the infrastructure needed to separate materials, and ship them to customers. And now, to make matters worse, the prices that buyers are willing...

Forestry Stocks and ETFs: The Back Door to Cellulosic Biofuels Investing

Probably the safest way to invest in cellulosic biofuels is by investing in cellulosic feedstocks.  Two Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) make this easy and inexpensive, although three individual stocks give better exposure to just biomass. Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA It's the Biomass, Stupid! Although they have considerable political momentum, cellulosic ethanol and advanced biofuels are not the best way to use biomass in order to reduce carbon emissions.  Greater carbon reductions can be had at lower cost by cofiring the same biomass in existing coal plants.  If the goal is more ethanol to displace gasoline, wouldn't it make more...

Xcel Energy Announces Proposed Renewable Energy Project Selections

Twenty-five proposed renewable energy projects featuring hydroelectric, biomass, wind, solar and biofuel technologies have been selected to receive more than $22 million from the Xcel Energy (XEL) Renewable Development Fund. More than 200 renewable energy project proposals were considered, three times the number submitted in the program's first funding cycle in 2001.

Investing In Wood Pellets, Part I

Last week, I mentioned that I had attended a conference focused on opportunities in the biomass and bioenergy sectors. One of the article ideas I got from this conference was on the emerging market for wood pellets (tightly packed sawdust and other wood shavings) for heat and electricity. How interesting that, over the weekend, the magazine Science published an article suggesting that the US should ramp up its use of wood for small-scale heat and electricity production (the article is not available free of charge but you can find a summary here). The Wood (Pellet) Advantage It...