Metcalfe Named Interim CEO of GreenFuel
Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe has been named interim CEO of Cambridge clean energy company GreenFuel Technologies, Xconomy has learned. He replaces highly touted energy industry veteran Cary Bullock, who was hired in March 2005 to head the company, which develops algae bioreactor systems that convert carbon dioxide emissions into renewable, clean-burning biofuels.
Details of Metcalfe’s appointment were sketchy when we received the tip on Saturday night. However, Metcalfe is an existing GreenFuel board member and a partner in Polaris Venture Partners, which in April 2006 invested nearly $7 million in GreenFuel as part of a Series B-1 round of financing. That investment was billed as a follow-on to a Series B round the previous August which raised $11 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Access Private Equity.
GreenFuel, an MIT spinoff, has made headlines with its colorful tale of turning CO2 emissions into renewable energy. It was founded in 2001 by Isaac Berzin, the company’s chief technology officer, who developed the core technology as an MIT post-doc in chemical engineering. The company’s bioreactor system employs algae to capture CO2 emissions produced by industrial plants. As we understand it from the GreenFuel website and other material such as this MIT Energy Research Council article, as these smokestack pollutants are delivered to the GreenFuel bioreactor, they are absorbed by the algae, which are specially treated to grow at much faster than normal rates. The algae can then be used as biofuel.
The company developed its first field unit at MIT in 2004 and since then has set up several other sites. In April, a trial of its technology was announced at NRG energy’s Big Cajun II, a 1489-megawatt coal-fired plan in Louisiana.
More on what’s behind Metcalfe’s appointment as we learn the details.