Investors sue KiOR execs over failed refinery 

Source: Steven Mufson, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A biofuels company that once seemed promising has filed for bankruptcy and is the subject of multiple lawsuits.

KiOR promised to turn wood chips into hydrocarbons that, with the help of a “magic catalyst,” could immediately be burned. The company filed for bankruptcy last month (Greenwire, Nov. 10).

Now investors are suing, saying executives were lying about the company’s Columbus, Miss., refinery. Billed as an “amazing facility” by billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, the refinery actually had “design and systemic issues,” according to the suit.

Among those issues were the wood conveyer system that continually jammed, blades for turning wood into chips that were the wrong size and tar that would build up along the machinery.

“It was hastily put together and they were trying to make it run,” said a confidential witness quoted in the investor suit (Steven Mufson, Washington Post, Nov. 28)