As if the implosion of pure-play ethanol players weren't enough, the broader market meltdown has really put biofuel IPOs on the back burner. First, biodiesel producer Imperium Renewables pulled its planned public offering in early 2008. Several months later, a firm called Codexis withdrew its own proposed IPO.
Silicon Valley start-up Codexis is in the business of cooking up catalysts that enable the production of next-generation biofuels from nonfood sources. That puts the firm up against titans like DuPont
Conveniently, the company counts Royal Dutch Shell
With the debt markets reeling, and confidence waning in the ability of the venture capital industry to maintain the momentum in greentech, that leaves Big Oil and other multinationals to pick up the slack. Compared to their massive exploration and development budgets, these sorts of investments may strike some skeptics as mere greenwashing, but folks like ConocoPhillips