Thursday, September 20, 2007

Synthetic Biology Bio-Fuels Startups...

Lots of activity in synthetic biology biofuels startups....

Amyris Biotechnologies, a CA Bay Area-based startup using synthetic biology to create fuels to replace petroleum, recently announced that it has raised the first portion of a $70M VC investment round (on top of $20M it previously raised from Khosla Ventures, Keiner Perkins, and TPG Ventures).

Amyris has plans to make bio-gasoline, bio-diesel, and bio-jet fuels and hopes to hit the market by 2010.

The basic strategy is to genetically/metabolically engineer organisms that can convert sugars/cellulose into fuel molecules that do not mix with water, so that they are easily separated out, avoiding the financial and energy costs associated with distilling ethanol. And then the challenge is doing it as an industrial scale. After this investment, Amyris is valued at $470 (!).


There are three other main players in this area: LS9, Gevo, and Synthetic Genomics.

LS9 is a CA Bay Area startup initially funded by Flagship Ventures and Khosla Ventures. MIT alum and Energy Club member, David Berry, has played a very active role in founding and growing this company, in part for which he was awarded Technology Review magazine's Innovator of the Year. The university based co-founders were Chris Somerville (Stanford) and George Church (MIT-Harvard).

Gevo is based in Pasadena, CA and has been financed in part by Khosla Ventures and Virgin Fuels. Gevo has licensed tech from the labs of Frances Arnold at Caltech.

Synthetic Genomics, a Craig Venter startup based in Rockville, MD alongside Venter's researcher centers and also with offices in La Jolla, CA, has developed a minimal genome bacterium that they hope will give them a key advantage in engineering organisms to make fuels. They recently raised a 2nd round of financing, after which they were valued at $300M. MIT Sloan alum and Energy Club member Gaye Bok is currently their head of business development.

Will any of these companies 1.) successfully create organisms that can create hydrocarbons and 2.) more importantly will they be able to produce at scale at a reasonable cost?

Weigh in!

2 comments:

Aneesh said...

This blog is really informative; I have gone through all the posts. I don't know why the blog master is not interested in posting some more relative information. I request the blog master to add some more content to this great blog. I shall link from my blogs to this blog soon.
Best Hopes.com Offers free review service to hundreds of public utility products and service. This is for public use and people can often come to read reviews and very many products here- new products are being added to this site day by day. Whole services free for all.
The list of our review on almost all products and services are including Internet Online jobs, Make money home, Web promotion, Child custody information, Saving marriages news, HIV, Cancer, Dating, Education and water fuel.
You can download the information from the following URL http://www.besthopes.com that for free. I Hope that you will add more free information to the comment boxes to let people read about these other interesting subjects.
God bless you all-

Kentbiofuel said...

Hi,

I came across your blog whilst searching for information on Bio Fuel, I have bookmarked you...

I would really appreciate your readers taking a look at this short video which shows how anyone can refine thier own first generation biofuel!

http://kentbiofuel.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-to-make-bio-fuel-out-from-waste.html

I have really been inspired to do more by your site!

Warm Regards,

Tim
http://kentbiofuel.blogspot.com