Who knew that tiny bugs deep underground are burping out natural gas, even at this very moment?
Three years ago, Luca Technologies, a start-up in Golden, Colo., discovered that microorganisms in U.S. coal fields are converting--in real time--large hydrocarbon molecules into methane, a natural gas. The obvious entrepreneurial reaction? Harness those "bugs" and put them to work producing natural gas in underutilized oil and coal fields, decided Luca Technologies Chief Executive Robert Pfeiffer.
Now some big backers are betting that Luca’s technology will pay off. In late September, Pfeiffer raised a combined $20 million in venture funding in a Series B round led by superstar Silicon Valley venture firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with participation from Oxford Bioscience Partners and BASF Venture Capital America, an arm of German chemicals giant BASF ...MORE