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EdeniQ Gets $32 Million to Extract Plant Sugars for Biofuel

EdeniQ Inc., a closely held biotechnology company, received $32 million to make systems that break down plants into sugars for processing into fuels and chemicals.

The funding includes $23 million in equity as part of the company’s Series B and C financing rounds and $9 million in debt, Chief Executive Officer Brian Thome said today in a telephone interview.

EdeniQ, based in Visalia, California, will use part of the funding to install equipment at ethanol plants, Thome said. The financing will fund research and may support a “commercial scale-up development with a partner” that’s expected to be announced later this month, he said.

The company plans to sell its technology to producers of so-called cellulosic biofuels, which are made from non-food sources, Thome said. Edeniq’s pilot plant, partially funded by a U.S. Energy Department grant in 2009, is testing its process for making cellulosic ethanol from crop wastes like corn stalks and cobs, energy crops such as switchgrass and woody biomass, he said.

Comerica Inc. and Atel Ventures Inc. provided the debt facility, EdeniQ said today in a statement. Existing backers including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Cyrus Capital Partners LP and Westly Group led the equity investment, along with Flint Hills Resources LLC, a unit of Koch Industries Inc., a new investor.

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