SAN FRANCISCO and TEL-AVIV, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- US Venture Capital funds Burrill Company and Khosla Ventures have invested in HCL CleanTech (http://www.hclcleantech.com), a US company and its Israeli subsidiary founded by Prof. Avram Baniel, Prof. Ari Eyal and Eran Baniel. HCL CleanTech has developed a proprietary technology to make an old, industrially proven German process converting lignocellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars economically very attractive. It is these fermentable sugars which are considered the gateway to advanced biofuels (biobutanols, biodiesel, jet fuel etc) and biochemicals (bioplastics etc). Modern chemical technology makes the implementation straightforward and immediate.
HCL CleanTech's use of concentrated hydrochloric acid (HCl) efficiently hydrolyzes all cellulosic materials and so allows a large variety of feedstocks to be used with minimal configuration, it requires very little water and is completely self sufficient energetically. This new technology can also clean and improve the recovery of the acid in other industrial streams containing dilute HCl.
Accessing cheap sugar locked in biomass is one of the greatest challenges now faced by those pursuing renewable fuels and chemicals. HCL CleanTech's technology represents a step change in accessing these sugars, and drops into the pretreatment step of any fermentation-based process or chemical reforming technique which starts with oligosaccharides, said Burrill Company Director, Greg Young. We are eager to see this proven at scale, at which point it becomes immediately relevant to adjacent industries aiming to use biomass as a feedstock.
Burrill Company and Khosla Ventures were joined in this Series A round of financing by Zohar Gilon, the lead seed investor, and the founders. The proceeds will serve to continue RD in Israel and build a pilot plant in the US to be completed in 2010.
About HCL CleanTech Ltd.
Incorporated in December 2007, HCL CleanTech is a technology development company co-founded by 2 of Israel's most prominent Industrial Chemical Research scientists. Prof. Avraham Baniel (over 35 years Applied RD and Management of IMI - Israel Mining Institute - and teaching at the Casali Institute of the Hebrew University) and Prof. Ari Eyal (Prof. of applied Chemistry, senior advisor to many firms worldwide).
Burrill Company is a life sciences merchant bank focused exclusively on companies involved in biotechnology, industrial (biomaterials/bioprocess) and agricultural biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, health wellness and human healthcare related medical technologies, with over $950 million in venture capital under management. Burrill's technical and venture investing competence spans the entire spectrum of life sciences. In addition, Burrill is a leader in life science strategic partnering, an invaluable practice to build value in portfolio companies and to accelerate their growth and development. Burrill is also the sponsor and facilitator of a number of leading annual industry conferences and publishes the seminal annual report on the state of the biotechnology industry. For more information, visit http://www.burrillandco.com
Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in breakthrough scientific work in clean technology areas such as solar, battery, high efficiency engines, lighting, greener materials like cement, glass and bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, and other environmentally friendly technologies as well as traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile and silicon technology arenas. Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems. Khosla Ventures is based in Menlo Park, California. For more information, visit http://www.khoslaventures.com
Contact Information for HCL CleanTech, Eran Baniel, Tel: +972-544-358833, firstname.lastname@example.org