Clean tech company Elevance raises $100M

Faith Merino · December 21, 2010 · Short URL:

The company produces clean, high-performance chemicals for personal care, detergents, and fuel

Elevance Renewable Sciences announced Tuesday that it has closed a $100 million Series C round led by Naxos Capital Partners, with participation from Total Energy Ventures International, TPG Biotech, TPG Growth. 

Founded in 2007, Elevance produces speciality ingredients in personal care products, detergents, lubricants, and fuel from renewable feedstocks and natural oils.  The company uses the Nobel Prize-winning technology known as olefin metathesis to synthesize natural oils while using less energy than fossil-based oils.  According to the company’s website, using metathesis, products can be manufactured using low temperatures and pressure.  The result includes products like wax, alpha olefins, acids and esters, epoxides, and alcohols. 

These ingredients provide an alternative to natural ingredients that may be difficult to supply in great quantities, like paraffin, beeswax, and carnuba.  The company also specializes in antimicrobials, providing less toxic, naturally produced alternatives to agricultural insecticides and fungicides, consumer and industrial biocides, and personal care preservatives. 

Of particular interest is Elevance’s lubricants, fuels, and additives platform, which offers affordable, better performing, and environmentally friendly alternatives.  The company’s bio-refinery technology enables the production of biodiesel and “green” diesel to replace petrochemical diesel and jet fuel.

“Elevance is pleased with our rapid progress commercializing our products and technology," said K'Lynne Johnson, CEO of Elevance, in a prepared statement.  "This round of financing supports our company's continued growth and innovation in making quality, high-performing renewable chemicals available on a world scale basis.  The addition of Naxos Capital Partners and Total Energy Ventures International builds on the strength of our existing investors, and is an important step forward in achieving our goal of global expansion."

To date, the company has raised $140 million.  Elevance plans to use this new capital to expand and create new biorefineries in Asia, North America, and South America.  Currently, the company boasts the world’s largest biorefinery in Indonesia and recently partnered with Stepan Company to commercialize novel surfactants and antimicrobials.  Other partners include Cargill Inc., Dow Corning Corporation, Trent University, Tetramer Technologies, United Soybean Board, SaskCanola, and Wilmar International.

In 2009, Elevance was awarded a $2.5 million grant by the Department of Energy to fund the engineering design of a demo-scale biorefinery that would produce speciality chemicals and biofuels from plant oils and poultry fat.


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