The 50 Most Visible Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy 2014: #20-#11

June 12, 2014 |

visible-50Product launches, project start-ups, scale-up stumbles, litigation, feedstock controversy, name investors coming on board — they all add up to one thing: visibility.

And if you’re among those who believe “I don’t care what you write, just spell my name right” — here’s the ultimate visibility ranking.

The Digest’s 50 Most Visible Companies in the Bioeconomy.

Over the past two years, more than one million unique visitors have crowded the Digest’s site for news, gossip, profiles, analysis and data, data, data. Millions of page views later — we looked at which companies are the “hottest reads” in the sector — and why can’t we stop thinking about them.

Based on accumulated pageviews (as reported by Google Analytics), here’s our ranking 50 Most Visible Companies in the Bioeconomy, and some background on the companies in the rankings.

The Complete Rankings

Rankings from #50-#41

Rankings from #40-#31

Rankings from #30-#21

Rankings from #20-#11

Rankings from #10-#1



Notes: The company has a lot of drivers — like the algae fermentation unit DSM Martek — but, overwhelmingly, it’s been about the POET-DSM cellulosic ethanol project in Emmetsburg/

The latest:  In Iowa, DSM expects to begin producing cellulosic ethanol at its $250 million joint venture demo facility with POET in Emmetsburg in July. The companies expect to produce 12 million gallons this year and up to 25 million gallons from next year. The EPA says it expects to announce its RFS blending requirements, including cellulosic blend, by June.

The 5 Minute Guide to DSM Bio-based Products & Services



Notes: It’s all about Alagoas and the company’s reach for scale this year.

The latest:  Among the signature project openings we expect in the next few months — Abengoa’s cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas, the POET-DSM Project Liberty in Emmetsburg, Iowa, Solazyme’s Moema JV with Bunge — perhaps none have been so intriguing as “We’re now 85% complete,” says GranBio’s US managing director Vonnie Estes, referring to the GranBio project in Alagoas, Brazil. In the Digest, we were delighted to publish the most extensive set of pictures and video ever offered on the Gran Bio Alagoas project — scheduled to bring 20 million gallons of new cellulosic ethanol capacity onto the market.

The 5-Minute Guide to GranBio


BP Biofuels

Notes: BP has been in the visibility retreat in the US but strong in Brazil — new technologies like Hummingbird have driven attention.

The latest: In the United Kingdom, BP announced a new technology, Hummingbird, that directly converts ethanol to ethylene through dehydration. Hummingbird is a newly developed proprietary process by which ethanol is dehydrated to produce ethylene. BP states that the new technology is lower cost and simpler compared to existing ethanol to ethylene technologies.

“Hummingbird is a next generation technology, clearly differentiated from the competition,” said Charles Cameron, BP’s Head of Technology, Downstream. “The Hummingbird process with its proprietary catalyst and its milder operating conditions is ultra-selective, resulting in a market leading conversion of ethanol to ethylene.

The 5-Minute Guide to BP Biofuels



Notes: It’s been all about the Edmonton project, which opened officially last week as the world’s first MSW-to-biofuels plant.

The latest: In Canada, Enerkem officially inaugurated its first full-scale municipal waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facility in Edmonton, Alberta. This facility, operated by Enerkem Alberta Biofuels, is among the world’s first commercial facilities to be built for the production of renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels. During its construction, more than 600 direct and indirect jobs were created for the modular manufacturing of the facility’s systems and their on-site assembly.

The 5-Minute Guide to Enerkem



Notes: The UPM, Waste Management and BASF relationships have been key to driving attention this year for Renmatix and its Plantrose supercritical technology.

The latest: Genomatica and Renmatix have been named winners of the 2014 Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers Award for developing process technologies to produce widely-used chemicals from alternative feedstocks rather than petroleum. Genomatica’s processes are designed to produce the exact same chemicals while delivering better economics and a smaller environmental footprint.

Every year, Bloomberg recognizes ten game-changing companies for innovation, momentum and potential global impact in industries including bioenergy, energy efficiency, digital energy, solar and water. Winners are judged by industry experts that are advised by Bloomberg New Energy Finance technology experts.

The 5-Minute Guide to Renmatix



Notes: BASF has been on the acquisition and investment warpath – Renmatix, Verenioum, Genomatica come to mind.

The latest:

In California, Amyris announced that it is entering into a collaborative research and development agreement with BASF. Under the agreement, Amyris will use its strain engineering technology to develop a microorganism capable of producing a target molecule identified by BASF. Based on success of the initial development program, the companies expect to collaborate further on a strain development program and consider other joint research and development opportunities. The companies have agreed not to disclose any details of the agreement.

The 5-Minute Guide to BASF




Notes: New molecules, new markets — that’s been the story as the company aims to build up demand for its Gresik refinery and some consumer pull for the new project in Natchez, Mississippi.

The latest: When we last visited with Elevance, they had introduced their third novel product line in a period of rapid commercial deployment dating back to September.

Now, there’s a fourth. And a second cleaning solution commercialized this year.

Here’s the highlight: In Illinois, Elevance Renewable Sciences introduced Elevance Clean 1200, what it describes as “a superior-performing degreasing and VOC-exempt solvent that outperforms traditional and bio-based solvents for industrial degreasing applications targeted toward heavy manufacturing, transportation maintenance and repair operations (MRO), and industrial food processing.”

The 5-Minute Guide to Elevance



Notes: It’s really all about the Nevada, IA project right now, scheduled for completion by year-end.

The latest: In Pennsylvania, at the 11th Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology today, DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman called on Congress and the administration to ensure regulatory stability for the renewable fuel industry by preserving the Renewable Fuel Standard, regulations ensuring renewable fuel makers market access in the United States.

Since 2007, the RFS has encouraged hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment from companies like DuPont to create a sustainable bio-based economy. Later this year, the EPA will submit a final ruling on the volume of renewable fuel blended into the nation’s gasoline supply.

“Legislative and regulatory uncertainty has a direct impact on the growth of this industry,” Kullman said. “If the EPA issues an RFS rule with increasing biofuels volumes, supporting a stable regulatory environment, our industry can thrive.”

The 5-Minute Guide to DuPont Industrial Biosciences



Notes: The enzyme trio of Avantec, Olexa and Spirizyme has been driving the headlines — and the company’s investment in Beta Renewables and struggles to defend the RFS.

The latest: In Denmark, Novozymes’ sales to the bioenergy industry increased by 34% as Q1 sales were some of the company’s strongest. The company has beren having success with its cocktail of three enzymes: Avantec, Spirizyme Achieve and Olexa, which enable producers to squeeze up to 5% more ethanol out of corn while saving on energy and chemicals.

In addition to increasing ethanol yield, the three enzymes can improve corn oil extraction by 13%, while saving 8% energy. This helps ethanol producers to improve profit margins and efficiency, and reduce their environmental footprint.

The 5-Minute Guide to Novozymes



Notes: All eyes are on the POET-DSM plant in Emmetsburg — but POET’s made some waves deploying corn oil extraction technology as well.

The latest: In Iowa, Poet says its $250 million corn stover ethanol plant will be online from June with between 7 million and 12 million gallons of ethanol expected to be produced this year. The facility will have a nameplate capacity of 25 million gallons. Construction of the facility should be done by April.

The 5-Minute Guide to POET

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