Gevo switches ethanol production, optimizes isobutanol technology

Gevo switches to ethanol production, optimizes isobutanol technology

7:51 AM, 27th September 2012
Gevo switches to ethanol production, optimizes isobutanol technology
Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo.

ENGLEWOOD, US: Gevo is switching its Luverne, MN biorefinery back to ethanol production while it works to optimize isobutanol production rates. The company purchased the site in 2010 as its first commercial-scale project using its ethanol-to-isobutanol retrofit technology and commenced isobutanol production 17 weeks ago.

“While we have made significant progress towards economic production levels, we have decided to optimize certain specific parts of our technology to further enhance bio-isobutanol production rates,” said Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo.

“Implementing these adjustments while trying to produce the product in a plant the size of Luverne makes no sense from a business or technical point of view. In order to maximize cash flow, it makes sense to temporarily shift to ethanol production. This optionality is a result of Gevo’s patented retrofit design that allows for switching between isobutanol and ethanol. It’s important to introduce this technology to the marketplace in the most considered and responsible way,” added Gruber.

The company has produced and shipped commercial-quality isobutanol over the 17 weeks since startup. Gruber said the company will not achieve its projected year-end run rate, but rather expects to hit its targets during 2013. The facility is ultimately expected to produce about 18 million gallons of isobutanol per year.

“In five short years, we have gone from start-up to commercial-scale production at the world’s first commercial bio-isobutanol production facility. Production start-ups are never easy, but we are years ahead of our competition and well on our way to realizing economic production levels during 2013,” informed Gruber.

Gevo’s market development is proceeding well. Business development activities with its industry partners and consumers remain ongoing while demand remains high for initial plant capacity.

© WOC News




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