• 5

When thinking of biofuels, the usual suspects that pop up first are probably ethanol and biodiesel. That's not to say, though, that these two are the only biofuels. There's another non-petroleum fuel that could replace displace gasoline: biobutanol. There are proponents for biobutanol who claim that the fuel is superior to ethanol. Biobutanol can supposedly be pumped into any gasoline engine with no modifications and, like ethanol, has an elevated octane rating.

So, biobutanol proponents take note: Cobalt Technologies, a leader in commercializing biobutanol as a renewable chemical and fuel, announced that it has closed its $20-million Series D funding round. The additional capital will enable Cobalt to expand its 470,000-gallons-per-year demonstration facility in Alpena, MI, which will apparently be the world's first cellulosic biorefinery for the production of the industrial chemical n-butanol. In addition, the funding will also enable Cobalt to grow its network of strategic relationships and to progress its partnership with the U.S. Navy to develop biojet fuel.

[Source: Cobalt Technologies]
Show full PR text
Cobalt Technologies Closes $20M in Funding

The Whittemore Collection Ltd. Led Series D Funding Round


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cobalt Technologies, a leader in commercializing biobutanol as a renewable chemical and fuel, announced today that it has closed a $20M Series D funding round. The round was led by The Whittemore Collection Ltd., the investment vehicle of Parsons & Whittemore, formerly one of the world's largest manufacturers of market pulp and builder of some 60 pulp mills in 28 countries. All of Cobalt's current venture investors also participated, including Pinnacle Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Life Sciences Partners (LSP), @Ventures, Harris & Harris and Burrill and Company.

The additional capital will enable Cobalt to build out its new 470,000 gallon per year demonstration plant in Alpena, Michigan, which will be the world's first cellulosic biorefinery for the production of the industrial chemical n-butanol. In addition, the funding will enable Cobalt to expand its network of strategic relationships, to begin development of its first commercial facilities and to progress its partnership with the U.S. Navy to develop bio jet fuel.

"This round validates the significant progress we have made in commercializing cellulosic biobutanol and demonstrates the real market opportunity that our investors see," said Rick Wilson, Ph.D., and CEO of Cobalt Technologies. "In addition to the generous financial support provided by The Whittemore Collection Ltd., we now have the world's most experienced builder of biomass-based businesses on our board supporting us in developing our global enterprise."

Cobalt Technologies has developed a continuous process that takes non-food feedstocks like sugar cane bagasse, woody biomass, palm waste and glycerol from biodiesel production and converts it into renewable biobutanol. Biobutanol is a valuable industrial chemical that is widely used in paints and other coatings, and is a platform molecule that can be converted into other valuable chemicals such as 2 ethyl hexanol and 1-butene and also converted into renewable jet fuel.

"We were attracted to Cobalt because the technology delivers a dramatic cost advantage relative to petroleum-based chemicals and the company has a solid plan for scale-up and deployment with a great team. Strategically, we believe the best economic use of biomass besides producing pulp is for use in high-value renewable chemicals such as n-butanol, where Cobalt is the emerging leader," said George Landegger, Chairman of Parsons & Whittemore.

About Cobalt Technologies

Cobalt Technologies is a leader in commercializing biobutanol as a renewable chemical and fuel. Cobalt Technologies replaces petrochemicals and petroleum with a highly profitable and renewable alternative – biobutanol. The company's technology and engineering platform offers a continuous process to efficiently convert diverse non-food feedstocks – such as sugar cane bagasse and waste wood – into biobutanol. Engineered to achieve low costs through using low-cost biomass feedstocks, high productivity and energy efficiency, Cobalt is making biobutanol and its derivatives a cost effective substitute to petroleum-based materials.

Cobalt is based in Mountain View, CA. Cobalt is backed by leading investors in the cleantech sector, including Pinnacle Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, VantagePoint Capital Partners, The Whittemore Collection Ltd., Life Sciences Partners (LSP), @Ventures, Harris & Harris and Burrill and Company.

For further information, please visit www.cobalttech.com.

About The Whittemore Collection Ltd.

The Whittemore Collection Ltd. is the investment vehicle of Parsons & Whittemore, Inc. Parsons & Whittemore, a privately held company based in Rye Brook, N.Y., was founded in 1853 and acquired by Karl F. Landegger in 1944. Throughout its history, the company has been recognized as a leading turnkey engineer/builder of pulp and paper mills, and has owned and operated some of the world's largest and most efficient pulp facilities, such as the Alabama River Pulp and Alabama Pine Pulp mills in Monroe County, Alabama.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      Ziv
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have seen a lot of studies that make it look like butanol would be an excellent complement to gasoline from petroleum. But it really comes down to, what is your feed stock, your efficiency, your eroei and your cost per gallon. Generally, nothing is as cheap as gasoline, so far. I would love to see a graph of those functions for ethanol, butanol and methanol over the past 10 years. It would be even better if we could graph them oppo the price per kWh of packs from various battery suppliers over the same time frame, with another graph of kilos per kWh over the same time...
      electronx16
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cobalt isn't the only firm barking up the biobutanol tree: http://evworld.com/news.cfm?rssid=25391 The claims are actually pretty spectacular. Frankly, I sometimes wonder if these biofuel breakthroughs boring though the whole technology is, aren't actually more promising than battery progress at this point.
      goodoldgorr
      • 4 Years Ago
      Im interrested to buy.
      JSP
      • 4 Years Ago
      Non-food feedstock, direct replacement for gasoline, won't corrode the pipelines / fuel lines, 90% of gasoline's energy-density (~60% for ethanol) -- biobutanol is the right direction to go! We just need to figure out how to make lots of it efficiently. Best of luck to Cobalt and others.
      harlanx6
      • 4 Years Ago
      Normal butanol must be similar to a n butane molecule, with a 4 carbon chain and an "OH" on one end. It must be a liquid at room temperature and I would guess it contains more energy than methane, ethane, and propane, and about the same as butane, but less than the mixtures called gasoline and diesel. It's been a long time since my organic chemistry class. Can one of you chemists out there fill us in?