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California biofuel companies land on list of 30 'transformative technologies'

June 23, 2010 | 12:25 pm

Several California organizations earned positions on a list of innovative biofuel technologies released this week by Florida-based Biofuels Digest. Companies including Amyris Biotechnologies in Emeryville and Cobalt Technologies of Mountain View are among the 30 Most Transformative Technologies of 2010, based on more than 48,000 votes collected over three weeks.

The spots included businesses, universities and national laboratories in categories such as cellulosic ethanol and microalgae-based technologies. The 30 winners were narrowed down from 250 entrants. Westwood-based Rentech Inc., which produces synthetic fuels from sources including waste and biomass, won a slot for its biomass gasification partnership with ClearFuels Technology Inc.

South San Francisco companies LS9 Inc., a clean fuel and chemicals firm, and algae oil business Solazyme Inc. both clinched spots. The joint operation between science products and services company DuPont and BioArchitecture Lab in Berkeley to develop biofuel from seaweed scored another.

Other algae companies on the list included Los Angeles-based OriginOil Inc. and Sapphire Energy Inc., which has facilities in San Diego, Orange County and New Mexico. “With each passing day, we have seen more and more just how important it is for us to develop sustainable fuels to dramatically reduce our petroleum addiction,” said Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil’s chief executive.

-- Tiffany Hsu