The 50 Most Visible Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy 2014: #30-#21

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: A relatively quiet year on cellulosic ethanol, but great milestones on its yeast product.

The latest:  In New Hampshire, announced that its consolidated bioprocessing technology (CBP) has been used to produce over 1 billion gallons of renewable fuel. This achievement is a key commercial milestone for its MGT yeast products including TransFerm and TransFerm Yield+.

TransFerm is an advanced bioengineered replacement for conventional fermenting yeast that lowers costs for corn ethanol producers by alleviating the need to purchase a significant amount of the expensive enzymes currently used in corn ethanol production. Presently, TransFerm is used commercially in approximately 20% of operational corn ethanol facilities in the U.S. In addition, commercial-scale trials are underway at many other corn ethanol producers.

The 5 Minute Guide to Mascoma




OriginOil hasn’t generated monster revenues yet, but it sure does pack a punch in visibility — lately, its systems have been purposed for the fracking industry, and that’s meant attention in all kinds o new quarters.

The latest:  In California, OriginOil will provide its demonstration-scale EWS Algae Model 12 system to Catalina Sea Ranch, which will use it to treat incoming seawater and harvest algae to feed its shellfish nursery and selective breeding program. Catalina Sea Ranch will provide independent data on the efficiency and use of the machine, and will give OriginOil access to its nursery for field research.

The 5-Minute Guide to OriginOil


Sweetwater Energy

Notes: A steady set of deal announces, plus a tidy NYSERDA grant — that’s been the story for Sweetwater.

The latest: In New York, Sweetwater has received a $2.5 million funding grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to build five facilities in New York.

The first facility is to supply sugar to Naturally Scientific US (NSUS), which has signed a $250 million, 15-year contract for Sweetwater’s sugars. The second facility will feed NSUS from a different location, and the later three facilities do not yet have purchasers.

The 5-Minute Guide to Sweetwater Energy



Notes: The continuing support of Amyris and the reach for diesel and jet fuel have been keys to visibility.

The latest: In California and France, Amyris 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 commercialization of our renewable diesel and jet fuels. We are in the phase of scaling-up the industrial process and we expect to start commercialization within the next few years, once our joint research and development goals are met,” said Philippe Boisseau, President, Marketing & Services and New Energies, and a member of TOTAL’s Executive Committee. “As far as commercialization is concerned, the new joint-venture will benefit from the know-how and customer access of TOTAL, which operates in more than 130 countries and is aiming to become a key supplier in renewable fuels,” Boisseau added.




Shell’s been more active through Raizen than its own brand, but the big Shell gigawatt-strength brand coninues to draw attention, even if the shares in ventures like Iogen and Codexis are held in its Cosan JV.

The latest: In Canada, BIOX and Shell announced a new supply agreement to send biodiesel to Shell Canada Limited (Shell Canada ) by an inter-terminal pipeline from BIOX Corporation (BIOX) (BX.TO). BIOX’s Hamilton biodiesel refinery is located immediately adjacent to the Shell distribution terminal which allows for a pipeline to be installed connecting the two facilities. The connection was expected to be completed by late 2013.



Notes: A fascinating tie up with DONG and an evolving feedstock mix, away from palm, has kept Neste in the news all year.

The latest: In Finland, Neste Oil has joined forces with DONG Energy to develop an integrated process to produce renewable diesel and aviation fuel based on agricultural residues. DONG Energy’s Inbicon technology will be used in the first part of the process to pre-treat biomass and produce cellulosic sugars that can be converted into microbial oil with Neste Oil’s technology. Microbial oil can be used as a feedstock for premium-quality renewable fuels such as renewable diesel and renewable aviation fuel.

The 5-Minute Guide to Neste Oil




Notes: Litigation drives page views — and Butamax vs Gevo has as much drama as Gevo vs Butamax, or anything else on the litigation front this year.

The latest: In New York state, a federal judge has reversed an earlier appeals court ruling saying that Gevo has not infringed Butamax’s patents. The case has been remanded by to district court, where Butamax says it is looking forward to the trial. Delaware district court and the Federal Circuit courts disagreed on the value of a certain enzyme within the patent application.

The 5-Minute Guide to Butamax



Notes: The start-up in Louisiana at commercial scale — well, it’s been a huge factor in making this company a visibility player.

The latest: In Massachusetts, Myriant announced the successful start-up at its flagship bio-succinic acid plant located in Lake Providence, Louisiana. Myriant has produced on-spec commercial product at the plant and the Company anticipates that customer shipments will commence soon. Myriant’s bio-succinic acid plant is the first of its kind and scale in North America and has an annual nameplate production capacity of 30 million pounds of bio-succinic acid.

The 5-Minute Guide to Myriant



Notes: The company has been relatively stealthy of late, not posting too many RINs and not saying why. But when they registered their first RINs last year, the jungle drums went wild.

The latest: In Florida, INEOS Bio announced that its Indian River BioEnergy Center at Vero Beach is now producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale. First ethanol shipments will be released in August. This is the first commercial-scale production in the world using INEOS Bio’s breakthrough gasification and fermentation technology for conversion of biomass waste into bioethanol and renewable power.

The 5-Minute Guide to INEOS Bio



Notes: Bold headlines like $1.18 ethanol — well, those are natural attention-grabbers. 10,000 gallon per acre yields — well, that’s huge too.

The latest: In Florida, Algenol CEO Paul Woods announced at the Algae Biomass Summit that the company has switched reactor system and has reached a peak production of 10,400 gallons per acre and  continuous production in the 8000 gallon per acre range. It was the first major update from Algenol since March, when the company said that it had exceeded production rates 9,000 gallons of ethanol per acre per year. Woods said at the time that “I fully expect our talented scientific team to achieve sustained production rates above 10,000 by the end of this year.” With that, Woods said that his ethanol production cost, at scale, would be in the $1.18 per gallon range, and that with further development of the technology, Algenol is now able to produce diesel, jet fuel, renewable gasoline in addition to ethanol, via hydrothermal liquefaction technology.

The 5-Minute Guide to Algenol

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