jueves, septiembre 03, 2009


Daily Biofuels Digest newsletter
September 3, 2009
Circulation: 2.9 million per year

Algae 2020

Algae 2020: 
Biofuels Markets, Strategies, 
Players, and Commercialization Outlook

 460 pages, published June 2009
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Top Story

Tech TransferUniversity tech transfer - where's the ROI?

The University of California - facing budgetary pressure as a result of the budget crisis in the state of California - is reporting that it realized an income of $52.5 million in licensing from more than $2.95 billion spent on research, a commercial yield of just under 2 percent on basic research. 

Biofuels Digest sources have reported that other major research universities, such as Ohio State, are realizing even lower commercial yields from research, with ratios exceeding $200 in research funding for every $1 produced in commercial income.

Overall, the average yield in the U of C system was $37,287 in royalties and fees for the University, per commercialized invention. 

Yet, the Biofuels Digest "50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy" are replete with scientists and researchers drawn from universities, and bioenergy technologies being commercialized now are, in so many ways, based on university research. Why are universities and university-based professors and scientists being left out of the windfall? Is a brain drain in the works?

Reports such as Better World Projects "Technology Transfer Works" paint a rosy picture.
But is something very wrong with tech transfer? Are universities and the private sector well-aligned?

More on university tech transfer at
50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy: Candidate profile

Based in: Florida
2008-09 ranking: 36

Business: A portfolio of specialty enzyme products and are developing technical and operational capabilities designed to enable the production of low-cost, biomass derived sugars for a number of major industrial applications, including the commercialization of advanced biofuels. Investors include Syngenta, AWM Investment and Health Care Ventures. Verenium trades under the VRNM symbol on NASDAQ. 

Model: Novel, high-performance enzymes and to advance our technology and process development capabilities, together with BP, at pilot and demonstration-scale plants in Jennings, Louisiana, and a commercial facility in Highlands County, Florida, to exploit opportunities in the developing market for the production of cellulosic ethanol.  

Metrics:  In 2008, Verenium generated approximately $49 million in such revenues, an increase of nearly 90% over 2007.  Verenium has fully commissioned its 1.4 MGY demonstration-scale facility, also located at its Jennings site, representing the first of its kind in the nation.  

More on Verenium including past and future milestones and quotable quotes, at
ABOAlgae Biomass Summit
October 7-9, 2009

San Diego Marriott and Marina (California)
Exploring the emerging industry of algae as feedstock for biofuels and its related products. 

Registration, sponsorship and speaking info.
Producer News

In ArizonaDiversified Energy announced that the DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory has approved the second year of Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) funding for Diversified Energy's OmniGas molten-metals based gasification technology.  This syngas can then be used for industrial process heating applications, converted into electricity, or synthesized into fuels or chemicals.  

In CaliforniaFulcrum BioEnergy announced today that it has successfully demonstrated the ability to economically produce ethanol from garbage at its TurningPoint Ethanol Demonstration Plant. The company's 10.5 Mgy Sierra BioFuels Plant, located approximately 20 miles east of Reno, will commence operations in 2011. The company expects to produce fuel for less than $1 a gallon, at a yield of 120 gallons per ton. 
World Opinion

Leslie Anderson
: "As a long-time customer, I was appalled to learn that Verizon Wireless has hopped into bed with Don Blankenship, chairman, CEO and president of Massey Energy.  Blankenship is the evil mastermind behind the "Friends of America Rally"  taking place on Labor Day in West Virginia. Who is Don Blankenship?  He has been called "the scariest polluter in America."  

From Alternet: "So, what can we learn from the Bushmen? They can teach us how to live within nature's strict limits and how to conserve not just our water, but our own energies as well. The biofuel panacea turns out to be a water-guzzling nightmare, while the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta's giant water pumps are the state's biggest guzzlers of electricity."
International News

In CanadaSustainable Development Technology Canada said that it will award up to $550 million in its next cleantech funding round. SDTC is a not-for-profit corporation created by the Government of Canada to finance and support the late-stage development and pre-commercial demonstration of clean technologies. SDTC is accepting applications until October 21, 2009.  
In New ZealandLanzaTech said that data from its pilot synfuel plant at New Zealand Steel in Glenbrook has determined that contaminants in steel waste gases do not inhibit microbial fermentation and they have been able to virtually eliminate capital cost associated with gas conditioning. 

In India,  AE Biofuels announced the company`s wholly-owned subsidiary, UniversalBiofuels, a 50 million gallon per year biodiesel production facility located in Kakinada, India, has completed a $3 million shipment of biodiesel to
a large European customer. 
Research News

In Missourithe Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center is advancing basic science research aimed at understanding the principles of the harvesting of light and funneling of energy. The goal? To increase the rate of transfer of light energy to chemical energy in the plant or organism- The means? Eliminating redundancy in light capture and transfer.  The impact? Higher growth rates and yields for all biomass. 
Policy & Policymakers

In Washingtonthe Military Advisory Board is describing climate change as "a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world." The Board recommends that the Department of Defense should enhance its operational capability by accelerating the adoption of improved business processes and innovative technologies that result in improved U.S. combat power through energy efficiency. 
Consumer, Fleet and Event News

Three conference events have been added to the heavy fall schedule of biofuels events. In India, the 2nd Algae Biofuels Summit is scheduled for 8-10 September. In the UK, the Renewable Energy Association is staging the European Bioenergy Expo and Conference. In Washington DC on November 16-18, IQPC will hold the Biofuels Environmental and Economic Sustainability Summit.
Financial News

The Biofuels Digest Index™ (BDI), a basket of public biofuels stocks, gained 1.24 percent to 61.16 on BP's sharp rise. For the day, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) fell 1.68 percent to $27.56, while BP leapt 4.08 percent to $52.53.  Among small caps, Bluefire Ethanol (BFR) gained 11.11 percent to $1.00.  Overall, declines led advances 2 to 1 for the day. 
Biofuels Digest to launch Geothermal Digest September 8th

On September 8th, Biofuels Digest will be launching Geothermal Digest, a new, free, weekly digest covering producers, technologies, policy, research on a global basis. Editor of the new Digest will be Marc Favreau.

To receive Geothermal Digest free on a weekly basis, simply click on the "Update Profile/Email Address" link at the bottom of this email, which will take you to a page where you can check off interest in receiving GD.
Hot Topics from Past Issues

Banned in Boston: Massachusetts bans advanced biofuels from qualifying for Clean Energy mandate.
The Top 10 
Stories of the Year
The 10 Most Overlooked 
Stories of the Year
Drop In, Tune Out, Turn On
new thinking for new days in bioenergy. The importance of drop in fuels, the unimportance of the current debate over first-gen fuels.
The Blunder Cropa Biofuels Digest special report on jatropha biofuels development
The Hottest 50 Companies in Bioenergy
One billion gallons by 2014: algal fuel price, capacity projections
Renew Energy
These stories and more are available at Your comments and story requests are warmly welcome: email me at

Disclosure: I do not own any renewable energy securities; no payments or compensation of any kind is received in return for placing articles or favorable opinion in the Digest - Jim Lane, Editor and Publisher, Biofuels Digest. 

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