Gevo turns wood waste into jet fuel
June 4, 2015
By Gevo Inc.
June 4, 2015 – Gevo, Inc. recently announced a breakthrough to its fermentation technology that will allow it to produce isobutanol from cellulosic feedstocks such as wood waste, which can then be converted into Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet fuel.
Gevo currently makes isobutanol from corn at it plant in Luverne, Minn., but its process has always had the flexibility to adapt to other feedstocks. The process announced on June 4 uses forest residuals – the wood scraps that are left over from logging operations – providing a value creating recycling opportunity for waste wood that is traditionally left in the forest, potentially becoming a forest fire hazard. The company has previously announced the testing and use of its alcohol-to-jet fuel derived from its corn-based isobutanol in conjunction with major airline partners and the U.S. military.
Gevo has adapted its patented Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT) to convert the cellulosic sugars from wood into renewable isobutanol. Gevo then uses its patented hydrocarbon technology to convert the cellulosic isobutanol into alcohol-to-jet-synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) fuel.
The company’s cellulosic isobutanol production will be conducted at a demonstration facility in St. Joseph, Mo., that the company jointly operates with ICM Inc. The ATJ-SPK will be produced in Silsbee, TX, at the demonstration facility the company operates with South Hampton Resources.
Gevo is a member of the Northwest Advanced Resource Alliance (NARA) and is providing the organization with technology to enable the commercial scale processing of cellulosic sugars from wood waste into valuable products. The cellulosic jet fuel made using Gevo’s technologies will be used in a 1,000-gallon renewable fuel demonstration test flight that NARA announced yesterday. Gevo’s isobutanol and ATJ-SPK technologies are both planned to be licensed by NARA as part of this project.
“There are significant economic and environmental benefits of renewable jet fuel, which makes it a great market for Gevo. This announcement demonstrates the flexibility of our technology and reinforces our technology leadership,” said Dr. Pat Gruber, CEO of Gevo, Inc. “The next two milestones for renewable jet fuel are the approval by ASTM and the scheduled commercial test flights. Our team is actively engaged in both of these activities.”
“We’re encouraged by Gevo’s work with the NARA team in converting Pacific Northwest forest residual biomass into jet fuel, and look forward to working with them on this test flight and in the next phases of the commercialization of this technology,” said Ralph Cavalieri Director of NARA.
NARA is a five-year project supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and is comprised of 22 member organizations from industry, academia and government laboratories. Its mission is to facilitate development of biojet and bioproduct industries in the Pacific Northwest using forest residuals that would otherwise become waste products. A key task of the project is to evaluate the economic, environmental and societal benefits and impacts associated with such developments.
Gevo is a renewable technology, chemical products, and next generation biofuels company. Gevo has developed proprietary technology that uses a combination of synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering to focus primarily on the production of isobutanol, as well as related products from renewable feedstocks. Gevo’s strategy is to commercialize bio-based alternatives to petroleum-based products to allow for the optimization of fermentation facilities’ assets, with the ultimate goal of maximizing cash flows from the operation of those assets. Gevo produces isobutanol, ethanol and high-value animal feed at its fermentation plant in Luverne, MN. Gevo has also developed technology to produce hydrocarbon products from renewable alcohols. Gevo currently operates a biorefinery in Silsbee, Texas, in collaboration with South Hampton Resources Inc., to produce renewable jet fuel, octane, and ingredients for plastics like polyester. Gevo has a marquee list of partners including The Coca-Cola Company, Toray Industries Inc. and Total SA, among others. Gevo is committed to a sustainable bio-based economy that meets society’s needs for plentiful food and clean air and water.
Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements relate to a variety of matters, including, without limitation, statements regarding the expected effect of the new agreement on Gevo’s working capital and its corn purchasing capabilities and other statements that are not purely statements of historical fact. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Gevo and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Gevo undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although Gevo believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Gevo in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Gevo for the year ended December 31, 2014, as amended, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Gevo.
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