Alternative fuel developers face a make-or-break year as leading companies, such as Amyris, Poet, Solazyme, Gevo, Novozymes and Mendel, race to show substantial revenue, according to a report by Lux Research.
The report, “Leading Alternative Fuel Developers Race to Real Revenue in 2013,” said companies that lag behind will suffer as government support becomes more unpredictable and private investment dollars dry up.
In the report, Lux positioned alternative fuel technology developers on its innovation grid based on their technical value and business execution. Companies strong on both axes reach the dominant quadrant. The report also assesses each company’s maturity.
The report reviews 156 companies across eight fields in the broader alternative fuels industry: pretreatment, crop modification, algae, gasification, bioprocessing, pyrolysis, torrefaction and catalytic conversion.
Renmatix was the biggest mover since last year in the pretreatment field. BlueFire Renewables, Dyadic, Novozymes, REAC Fuel and Virdia round out the dominant category for pretreatment, according to the report (see graphic).
Out of the 29 algae companies compared in Lux’s analysis, 23, or 79 percent, are considered long shots. Algae was one of the weakest fields Lux surveyed.
California is home to nearly 30 advanced biofuel companies, but dozens of other states from coast to coast also are beginning to realize the economic benefits of this emerging industry, according to analysis released this month by green business policy group Environmental Entrepreneurs. There are now more than 80 advanced biofuel companies, refineries and related operations located in at least 27 states. Beyond California, the top four states for biofuel companies are: Illinois, which has eight; Colorado, six; Texas, five; and Iowa, four.
Biofuel mandates and growth in the biochemicals industry are expected to triple demand for biomass by 2030, placing pressure on available feedstocks, according to a report by Lux Research also released this month. The report says biofuels and biochemicals need more than a billion metric tons of biomass material each year to replace about three percent of total petroleum products. The report predicts that figure will skyrocket to 3.7 billion mt of biomass needed annually by 2030.