Canadian Biomass Magazine

Terragia Biofuel raises $6 million in funding, appoints Kristin Brief as CEO

April 2, 2024
By Canadian Biomass Staff

Terragia's leadership team (Photo: Business Wire)

Terragia Biofuel, a technology startup with the goal of driving the next generation of biofuels, has raised $6 million U.S. in funding and appointed a new CEO.

The company said it will use the capital to commercialize its novel biology-based approach to converting cellulosic biomass into ethanol and other products, expand its employee headcount and initiate partnerships with major biofuel producers.

Terragia uses engineered thermophilic bacteria to break down cellulosic biomass and convert it into ethanol and other chemical products.

“The company’s technology avoids key features responsible for the high cost of conventional cellulosic biofuel production by one-step ‘consolidated’ bioprocessing without added enzymes, and leveraging mechanical disruption during fermentation (i.e., “cotreatment”) in lieu of thermochemical pretreatment,” it said in a press release.


“Cellulosic biofuels are a route to low-carbon fuels for aviation and other difficult-to-electrify transport modes as well as CO2 removal from the atmosphere, both of which are critical for climate stabilization,” said Martin Keller, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “One-step biological conversion of cellulosic biomass without added enzymes or thermochemical pretreatment has clear cost reduction potential relative to other process concepts.”

In partnership with Dartmouth College and the University of Campinas, the ongoing development of Terragia’s technology is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Center for Bioenergy Innovation and the São Paulo Research Foundation, by grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation, as well as private capital.

Terragia also announced leadership changes with the appointment of Kristin Brief as CEO, effective immediately. Brief joins co-founders Lee Lynd, who transitioned to Chief Technology Officer, Bill Brady, Board Chair, and Chris Herring, Vice President of Technology Development.

Brief commented, “It’s an honor to lead Terragia as CEO. I’ve spent the majority of my 20-year career advancing early-stage clean energy startups, and Terragia’s technology, team, and path to commercialization are differentiated. We have a unique opportunity to make a transformational impact on climate outcomes, in addition to generating substantially higher revenues for biofuel producers.”

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