10 hot companies, 10 hot slides explaining where they are, what they’re up to, and where they are going, and when and how and why.
Here are new slides from the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference – ABLC Next 2014, as presented in San Francisco.
We found these super-hot because they essayed three topics very much on the industry’s mind:
1. Who are the fresh faces and how are they redefining the sector at the start-up level?
2. How and when are some of the later-stage ventures now approaching their first commercial plants?
3. For companies that have reached scale, what are lessons learned?
The Young Fresh Faces
Completed a pilot plant in New Mexico — a technology that upgrades ethanol plus and intermediate into an RFS-compatible fuel at less than $2 per gallon.
Using methane and methanotrophs to make a huge array of chemicals and proteins. Imaging making food from the methane emitted by food waste.
Taking excess ethanol and converting it to high-value ethyl acetate at costs that are a fraction not only of US “fossil-based companies” but also competing biotech’ers.
Another company targeting methane a s a feedstock — in this case, as a source for plastics. Imagine getting plastic out of landfill waste instead go putting fossil plastic there in the first place.
Later-stagers, heading for scale
Developing an 8M lb facility for less than $1 per pound in capex.
For its technology using oxidative coupling of methane to make an array of chemicals, it is expected to head for first commercial in 2017 and has the option to scale-up to “world-scael” or to smaller commercial plants.
Financing approved, site identified, feasibility confirmed — now time to contract with the EPC to have the plant up by some time in 2016.
Beginning construction next year with commercial production commencing in 2017 for this Bio-DDDA facility.
Lessons learned from scale
Bottom line, “renewable” means little as a value driver in bio-based PLA and NatureWorks concluded it is simply producing “just plastics” though, on the economics, that’s just fine.
Renewables have a place, based on availability, high public acceptance, and newly-emerging technologies. But fossil-based feedstocks will continue to dominate in the short-to-mid-term — says BASF, which is investing heavily in white biotechnology and renewable options.
The ultimate model? Not very different, seen in one way, from a petrochemical refiner, excepting the different inputs and products, but a similar model for producing fuels and chemicals and adding fully-integrated sales & marketing as a means to ensure maximum share of the value chain.
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