Changing World Technologies has gone from floating the possibility of an IPO to filing for bankruptcy in little more than a month’s time. The West Hempstead, N.Y.-based biofuel maker filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, reporting that it had faced the threat of running out of cash at the end of March and would lay off most of its staff, including 50 workers at its biofuel plant in Carthage, Missouri.

Changing World raised eyebrows in January when it declared it was ready to go public through an unusual “OpenIPO” auction process. After all, the credit crisis and economic downturn drove down the number of IPOs in 2008 to their lowest level since 1978, based on Accumyn’s review of SEC filings via EdgarPro.

Companies canceling plans to go public included several biofuel makers, like Redwood City, California-based Codexis, Iowa-based biodiesel producer Renewable Energy Group and Seattle-based Imperium Renewables.

Changing World isn’t the only biofuel maker to seek bankruptcy protection. VeraSun Energy Corp. (Pink Sheets: VSUNQ.PK), which claimed to be the largest ethanol producer in the world, filed for bankruptcy in October, after making bad bets on corn-price hedging contracts in the midst of falling corn prices.

--David N. Eliff

About the author: David N. Eliff is a CPA and certified in financial forensics (CFF) by the American Institute of CPAs. He is a managing director of Accumyn Consulting, a Houston-based financial-advisory services firm. David is a recognized leader in corporate restructuring and turnaround management, with 25 years experience as a chief financial officer and in the Big 4 restructuring practices. He can be reached at and at 713-430.6895.