On the GreenBeat: Amyris weathers first day of trading, California to double solar capacity

Biofuels and biomaterials company Amyris’s stock held up in its first day of trading, closing last night at $16.50, up three percent from its opening price of $16. The stock peaked at $17.44, the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The report estimates about 2.4 million shares were traded yesterday. The stock was reportedly priced below range. Earth2Tech deemed the IPO a “decent exit” for investors, estimating the worth of investors stakes: $67 million for Kleiner Perkins, $62 million for Khosla Ventures. The company raised a total of $85 million.

On the GreenBeat: MiaSolé to raise $100 million ahead of IPO, Amyris shoots for $122 million

MiaSolé aims to raise $100 million in sixth-round funding in advance of a 2011 IPO, according to Green Tech Media. The article cites a report from Birchmere Ventures, which names Morgan Stanley as the underwriter for the thin-film solar panel maker’s planned IPO. Thin-film has lagged in producing efficiency rates equal to that of its crystalline silicon counterparts – and Applied Materials abandoned its thin-film efforts this year. Key is MiaSolé’s claim (and the confidence of its backers) that it can produce solar panels at a competitive efficiency (15.5 percent) and price (70 cents per watt) by the end of 2012.

On the GreenBeat: Unilever invests in Solazyme, Frito Lay launches electric trucks

Unilever joined biofuel company Solazyme’s fourth round of financing as a strategic investor, Solazyme announced yesterday. The companies already share an R&D agreement: Solazyme’s oils are already used in Unilever’s Lux soap, with the plans to incorporate more renewable oils into its personal care products, such as algal oil, a substitute for palm oil. Solazyme announced last month that they had raised $52 million in fourth-round fundraising, with Chevron Technology Ventures and agribusiness leader Bunge included among its backers. It also drew the backing of Richard Branson.

Range Fuels opens plant to commercialize methanol

Range Fuels, one of the more successful biofuel startups backed by Khosla Ventures, announced today that it has opened up its first commercial plant to make cellulosic methanol out of non-food feedstocks. Located in Georgia, the facility is expected to pump out 20 million gallons of ethanol and biodiesel every year.

Glucose biofuel cell could revolutionize medical technology

It turns out glucose, the naturally-occurring sugar compound that provides energy to living things (including us humans), can be harnessed to power electronic devices, according to new research out of Joseph Fourier University in France. The breakthrough could have far-reaching implications for makers of medical devices ranging from pacemakers to artificial organs.