Colorado-based biotech firm Luca Technologies has raised a $75.9 million round of Series C financing, the company confirms with us today (hat tip Venture Wire). The company, which is working with soil microbes to produce methane from coal, plans to use the funds to acquire new properties (read: coal beds) internationally and in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The funding, closed earlier this month, includes $20 million from Kleiner Perkin’s new “Green Growth Fund” and $40 million from One Equity Partners.
Coal and natural gas are, of course, fossil fuels with massive environmental impacts. So what do microbes, methane, and coal have to do with cleaning up energy production? It’s a Band-Aid fix at best, but as Green Car Congress explains, the company’s technology (“geobioreactors”) can — in theory — extend the life of already-tapped coal beds and oil wells, wrecking the case for opening new sites and discouraging some of the most damaging extraction methods. GCC has the full details on the difference between conventional methods and Luca’s methods here.