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A dig through biofuel maker Changing World Technologies’ SEC filings earlier this week (prompted by a report from southwest Missouri’s Carthage Press) revealed the signs of a company teetering on the brink. Yesterday CWT confirmed our take on the company’s dire situation, announcing late in the […]

cwt-logo1A dig through biofuel maker Changing World Technologies’ SEC filings earlier this week (prompted by a report from southwest Missouri’s Carthage Press) revealed the signs of a company teetering on the brink. Yesterday CWT confirmed our take on the company’s dire situation, announcing late in the afternoon that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Plenty of biofuel developers have gone under in recent months, many of them having locked in high corn prices and gotten squeezed by plummeting fuel prices. But unlike the corn-based ethanol producers that have dominated the industry trend, CWT ranks among the so-called next generation biofuel companies, which use non-food biomass for fuel. CWT uses agricultural waste, including poultry remains. For now, cellulosic ethanol players seem to be faring better on the road to commercialization.

The company cited “a variety of factors, including escalating expenses associated with commercializing its patented waste conversion process,” looming debt obligations and unsuccessful attempts to obtain outside financing. The West Hempstead, NY-based company had planned to go public, but withdrew its filing last month due to market conditions, according to underwriter WR Hambrecht.

carthage-moThe next step for CWT is reorganization. The company, which reportedly shuttered its sole production facility (a biorefinery in Carthage, Mo.) this week, said it has laid off the majority of its workers. It now plans to fund expansion through new debt and equity financing.

While the Carthage plant has drawn frequent complaints from local residents for its foul odors, CWT expects its technology to rise again in “communities seeking to maintain a source of well compensated employment, to reduce waste, and produce renewable energy while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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By Josie Garthwaite

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  1. I think the biofuel industry is being hit pretty hard across the board right now as the task seems pretty daunting considering the lack of fueling opportunities and many other factors. I think biofuels have a place in fuel it just might not be the main fuel as many companies pushing for right now. I think if they would go more “niche” then they would have a better shot but of course not as much money to begin with.

  2. Prevent Bankruptcy – Make These Changes Starting Today Thursday, March 5, 2009

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  3. Burning Bio News » Biofuel Maker Changing World Files For Bankruptcy Friday, March 6, 2009

    [...] Changing World Technologies (CWT) a leading advanced biofuels technology developer has announced tha… The next step for CWT is reorganization. The company, which reportedly shuttered its sole production facility (a biorefinery in Carthage, MO), laid off the majority of its workers. It now plans to fund expansion through new debt and equity financing. — mj Wow. CWT has been a true pioneer. In 2003 I wrote a paper about the race to commercialize manure energy technologies. I used the Benson, MN manure power plant, the CWT MO poultry fat/manure to liquid fuels, and an early version of the E3 Biofuels (beef, ethanol, methane model) as examples. All three intuitively sound projects. Currently, the 55 MW turkey manure power plant in MN is the last man standing. The great thing about economics though is that there is always a new phase in the works. Stay tuned! [...]

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  6. I still think this techonology holds great promise, It makes me sad the plant is shutting down.

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    [...] World Technologies, the maker of “turkey diesel,” has filed for bankruptcy protection. Reasons cited include rising costs of commercializing its patented waste conversion methods, mounting debts and [...]

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    [...] World Technologies, the maker of “turkey diesel,” has filed for bankruptcy protection. Reasons cited include rising costs of commercializing its patented waste conversion methods, mounting debts and [...]

  9. Biofuels Fell Off a Cliff, Now Where Are the Opportunities? Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    [...] a less optimistic scenario, which could very likely be the reality, the industry could suffer through a lot more bankruptcies before it discovers some of these opportunities. Corn ethanol company failures have become [...]

  10. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points and I’ll be back to read more.

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