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US Ethanol Industry Re-tools As Biofuels Struggle To Scale Post-IPO
by Felicity Carus (Aol Energy) Now that almost all the gasoline in the United States is blended with up to 10% ethanol, producers are looking to export markets and refiners are looking at retooling strategies to tap into the burgeoning second generation biofuels market.
Gevo, based in Colorado, is one of a handful of biofuels companies that says it is on the brink of producing at commercial scale.
Its first plant in the US "corn belt" of Minnesota will be operational in June this year, making 18 million gallons of isobutanol using a yeast-based process that "makes scotch taste like scotch", according to Jack Huttner, Gevo's executive vice president of commercial and public affairs. Its second plant will come online in late 2013.
"Our technology is designed to fit in existing ethanol plants - grain, sugar cane or tapioca, our yeast will work in that system so you don't have to change the factory," he said.
...Sheeraz Haji, the CEO of the Cleantech Group, said that some investors may have been too eager to push portfolio companies to go public.
"There was a big flood of private capital pre-2008 and then they pushed to get companies public that were very, very early in terms of developing their business models. There is a sense that some were pushed out to the public markets too early. Some of the private investors had desires to show some wins, some of the investors felt pressure because they're nearing the end of some funds and part of it was belief that there was access to additional capital which hasn't quite proved true. READ MORE