March 18, 2008

Report: GreenFuel gets $92M to build first plant

Algal bioreactor maker GreenFuel Technologies Corp. has reached an agreement to build an algae-based fuel plant in Europe, according to a report on website Xconomy. The project, according to the report, which cites an anonymous source close to the company, is valued at $92 million.

Further details of the project weren't available but, if built, the plant would be Cambridge-based GreenFuel's first commercial plant, after building smaller scale test plants in Arizona and other locations, according to company documents.

It is also a major step for a firm working its way back from the brink. Last spring, the company was forced to scale back its operations after new funding failed to come through and the Arizona project yielded some unexpected results. At the time, CEO Cary Bullock stepped down, but remained with the company, while board member and investor Bob Metcalfe, of 3Com Corp. fame, took the helm as interim CEO. At the time, the company also brought in a bridge round of funding worth $5.5 million.

Founded in 2001 by former MIT researcher Isaac Berzin -- who is now the company's CTO -- GreenFuel's technology uses algae to mitigate both nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, key components in greenhouse gas emissions, from flue gas emissions in power plants burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.

The company has raised more than $17 million in venture funding from Polaris Venture Partners (where Metcalfe is a partner), Access Industries and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

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