The 50 Most Visible Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy 2014, #50-#41

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: It came very late in the year — but the company has a huge surge in visibility after raising a monstrous amount of money and bringing in the likes of Coca-Cola and Danone to the round.

The latest:  In the Netherlands, Avantium (ranked #15 in the Digest’s 30 Hottest Companies in Biobased Chemicals) announced that it has closed a financing round of $50 million from a consortium of iconic strategic players. This unique consortium consists of Swire Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company, DANONE, ALPLA, and existing shareholders. Follow on investments were made by existing shareholders Sofinnova Partners, Capricorn Venture Partners, ING Corporate Investments, Aescap Venture, Navitas Capital, Aster Capital and De Hoge Dennen Capital.

The 5-Minute Guide to Avantium



Notes: The company’s signature partnership with Neste generated a lot of visibility — a huge step forward will be completion of the company’s cap raise.

The latest:  In California, Cellana announced that it has entered into a multi-year, non-exclusive, off-take agreement with Neste Oil for commercial-scale quantities of Cellana’s ReNew Fuel algae oil feedstocks for biofuel applications. Cellana expects to be able to produce algae oil on a commercial scale from late 2015 onwards.

The 5-Minute Guide to Cellana



Notes: All eyes are on the Coca-Cola partnership for paraxylene and opportunities in jet fuel.

The latest: In Wisconsin, Virent announced the delivery of 100 gallons of its bio-based jet fuel to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for testing purposes. Product testing will begin at Wright Patterson Air Force Base to validate Virent’s jet fuel against the standards required for qualification and approval of new aviation turbine fuels established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The validation plan includes fit-for-purpose, fuel system and combustor rig testing.

The 5-Minute Guide to Virent



Notes: Boeing’s remained highly active, but there are fewer flight certifications to drive visibility this year — much of the work is behind the scenes.

The latest: In Illinois, Boeing has released its annual Environment Report, setting new 2017 targets for greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, solid waste to landfill and hazardous waste generation. According to the report, the company will continue develop and bring  sustainable aviation biofuel to market commercialization. The report also detailed the company’s plan to launch two new fuel-efficient airplanes – the 777X and 787-10 – and building the world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite.



Notes: Mostly a quiet year for Ceres — some positive visibility from good showings in Brazil with sweet sorghum, coupled with a dilutive if welcome cap raise.

The latest: In California, Ceres announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 20,000,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $1.00 per share. Ceres also granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to 3,000,000 additional shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any. Ceres expects to receive approximately $20 million in gross proceeds, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses payable by the company. Ceres intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital.

The stock was up yesterday when the company announced that itwill evaluate a number of its biotech traits in sugarcane in South America. Plantings were recently completed and preliminary performance observations will be available by the end of the year. Ceres expects to receive sugar yield results in the second half of 2015 when the first growing cycle is completed. Sugarcane provides an additional out-licensing opportunity for traits that the company is developing for its own use in sorghum and other energy crops.

The 5-Minute Guide to Ceres


Pacific Ethanol

Notes: Big recovery in the financials, owing to a great crush spread, has been a generator of positive attention for the company.

The latest: In Idaho, Pacific Ethanol has submitted an application with the state’s Dept. of Environmental Quality to modify the air quality permit at its ethanol plant in Magic Valley in order to boost production capacity to 70 million gallons from the current 63 million gallons.



Notes: Getting to full production scale with Diamond Green Diesel has been the big story this year.

The latest: In Indiana, Valero Renewable Fuels Company plans to expand its ethanol production in Mount Vernon by purchasing and renovating the former Aventine Renewable Energy facility. The company expects the renovated plant to be operational in 2014 and create 61 jobs.  Valero operates 10 ethanol plants in the U.S. and produces ethanol and distillers grains from corn.

The 5-Minute Guide to Valero


American Process

Notes: Huge news in the partnership with GranBio and shipping cellulosic biofuels — surprising that the page views were not stronger, given the newsflow, but some visibility has been split with GranBio.

The latest: On Friday April 18, 2014, American Process shipped its second commercial ethanol cargo and sold the first cellulosic ethanol RINs from its Alpena Biorefinery. These are the first cellulosic ethanol RINs generated since the beginning of 2013.  These are also the first ever commercial cellulosic ethanol RINS generated from woody biomass in in the US. We believe that American Process is also likely the first company in the world to produce commercial quantities of cellulosic ethanol from mixed forest residue.

The 5-Minute Guide to American Process



Notes: Quiet year for the gas fermentation pioneer – we had expected a commercial plant deal using natgas as a feedstock by now. Still waiting.

The latest: Late last year, Coskata shelved its IPO plans for the second time, again citing unfavorable market conditions. The IPO was meant to raise $100 million to fund a natural gas to ethanol facility, backtracking from earlier plans to produce ethanol from biomass. Mascoma, Enerkem and Fulcrum Bioenergy have all pulled out of planned IPOs in the past year.

The 5-Minute Guide to Coskata



Notes: The company partnership with FHR in driving its Cellunator and PATHWAY Platform technologies toward commercial deployment have been a steady driver of attention.

The latest: In California, Edeniq announced that tests at its PATHWAY Validation Facility have confirmed that Edeniq’s  Cellunator and PATHWAY Platform technologies are releasing cellulosic sugars into the fermentation process, thereby increasing ethanol yield three to six percent.  The pilot facility is located at the company’s headquarters in Visalia, California.

The 5-Minute Guide to Edeniq

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