By STEPHANIE GLEASON
Houston biofuel company Terrabon Inc. filed for Chapter 7
bankruptcy Friday and shut down operations after it failed to
get new financing to continue work on its technologies.
The company has the licenses on technologies from Texas
A&M University System, where they were developed and where
it was formed to bring the products to market. However, it
couldn't obtain the additional financing necessary to finish
developing a commercial plant.
Its MixAlco technology converts materials like sewage, wood
chips and nonedible crops into renewable gasoline, jet fuel or
diesel. The fuel has a higher energy value than ethanol and can
be blended with gasoline directly, Terrabon said in documents
filed with the US Bankruptcy Court in Houston.
Another technology called SoluPro converts
waste material, like shrimp heads and chicken feathers, into
animal feed and commercial adhesives and it has the licenses on
a desalination process that produces potable water, which it
The company owns 12 US patents and has 17 more US patent
However, on Friday, Terrabon suspended operations and laid
off all 60 of its employees.
It is with great disappointment we announce Terrabon
has been unable to obtain additional financing and must suspend
operations, Terrabon CEO Gary Luce said in a statement.
This is a sad day for Terrabon's employees, partners,
suppliers and vendors who never wavered from their robust
support of our company and the technology we deeply believe
Terrabon had received investments from Waste Management,
Valero Energy, the Texas A&M System and the Texas Emerging
Terrabon is at least the fourth company to enter bankruptcy
that received a grant from Texas Gov. Rick Perrys
Emerging Technology Fund. The governor's office in Texas didn't
immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
Overall, the company has $22.8 million in debt, including a
$10 million line of credit from Comerica Bank that is
guaranteed by Waste Management and $2.75 million from the Texas
Emerging Technology Fund.
Terrabon doesn't have any profits yet, as it is still a
development-stage company, but did list $371,000 worth of
Formed in 1995, Terrabon had completed a demonstration plant
in Bryan, Texas, capable of producing 50,000 gal/year of
According to its website, Terrabon broke ground on its
bio-refinery in 2011 and had hoped to
complete the facility by 2013.
Dow Jones Newswires