Published in: 2011 - A Review of Cleantech Equity Deals, January 2012The focus in ethanol remained on sugarcane (with BP investing further in sugarcane ethanol producers and news of a major sugarcane ethanol project in Sierra Leone) and cellulosic ethanol. There was no cellulosic ethanol IPO during 2011, but two companies, Mascoma and Coskata, have filed registration documents for IPOs, and this industry is taking off as commercial-scale plants are built.
Cellulosic ethanol has been a particular favourite of the US DoE. However, one DoE-backed cellulosic ethanol company, Range Fuels, defaulted on its loans and set in place liquidation of its production plant during 2011. Range had received DoE grants and loans from the US Department of Agriculture and before 2011 had previously raised US$160 million in venture capital funding from investors including Khosla Ventures.