Gevo, Praj development agreement enter commercial phase

Gevo, Praj agreement to enter commercial phase

9:56 AM, 26th July 2017
Gevo, Praj development agreement to enter commercial phase

MONTREAL, CANADA: Gevo Inc (Gevo) and Praj Industries Ltd (Praj) unveiled a new commercial opportunity in renewable bioproducts, jointly announcing that Gevo’s proprietary isobutanol technology will now be available for licensing to processors of sugar cane juice and molasses.

This follows on the back of Praj’s development work, adapting Gevo’s technology to sugar cane and molasses feedstocks.

A joint development agreement and a development license agreement were entered into between Praj and Gevo in 2015. The goal of these agreements was for Praj to adapt Gevo’s isobutanol technology to using non-corn based sugars and lignocellulose feedstocks. The process technology development was performed at Matrix, Praj’s R&D centre located in Pune, India.

In the first phase of development, Praj worked with Gevo’s technology using sugar cane and molasses feedstocks, undertaking test-runs in order to develop a process design package that will now be offered for commercialization to cane juice and molasses-based ethanol plants, as licensees of Gevo’s isobutanol technology.

Licensing is expected to be focused on Praj plants located in India, South America and South East Asia, with initial capacity targeted to come online in the 2019/2020 timeframe.

Isobutanol has several direct applications as a gasoline blendstock or as a speciality chemical solvent, or it can be used as an intermediate which can be further converted into other chemical products or hydrocarbons such as Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) and isooctane.

In comparison to other renewable jet fuels, Gevo’s ATJ has the potential to offer the optimal solution in terms of operating cost, capital cost, feedstock availability and scalability. In addition to being a lower carbon alternative, ATJ also offers performance advantages such as lower particulates, low sulphur content and a lower freezing point.

Isooctane and renewable gasoline made from cane juice- and molasses-based isobutanol are expected to be very low in carbon content, offering new approaches to markets where low carbon fuels are valued, such as California and other geographies.

Gevo is expected to be the primary off-taker, marketer and initial distributor for isobutanol produced from the plants built by Praj that use Gevo’s isobutanol technology.

In the next phase of commercialization, Praj is working to adapt Gevo’s technology to Praj’s 2nd generation bio-refineries, enabling the production of isobutanol from lignocellulosic biomass.

“We are pleased with the work that Praj has done in adapting our technology using cane juice and molasses as feedstocks. Praj is a great partner who shares our vision of low carbon fuels made from sugars in high yields. Praj has a massive footprint across the world. We look forward to working with Praj to license the technology out, leveraging their access and capabilities,” said Dr Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo.

“This isobutanol platform can be offered as ‘bolt-on’ to an existing ethanol plant or as a greenfield plant. This isobutanol technology is the latest addition to Praj’s diverse product portfolio and reinforces our organisation’s leadership in the bioenergy space,” added Pramod Chaudhari, executive chairman, Praj.

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