US biochem firm Gevo gets EPA nod for isobutanol as fuel additive

11 November 2010 15:11  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Gevo’s isobutanol has been successfully registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a fuel additive and is now approved for blending with gasoline, the US renewable chemicals firm said on Thursday.

The company’s isobutanol was the first such product to be listed in the EPA's Fuel Registration Directory, Gevo added.

“We’ve taken another important step in commercialising our product in the near term,” said Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber.

“Along with the chemicals market, selling isobutanol as a low Reid vapour pressure (RVP) biofuel blendstock is one of our most important opportunities,” said Gruber.

Isobutanol is an attractive gasoline component, compared with alkylate and aromatics, according to Gevo. Also, under the US Renewable Fuel Standard II, isobutanol qualifies for 30% more renewable fuel value, it added.

Gevo’s isobutanol could be used directly as a specialty chemical, as a gasoline and jet-fuel blendstock, and through conversion into plastics, fibres, rubber and other polymers, it said.

The company planned to retrofit ethanol plants to produce isobutanol, with work on a first retrofit at a 22m gal/year ethanol plant in Minnesota, which is expected to start soon.

Earlier this year, German chemicals producer LANXESS invested $10m in Colorado-based Gevo.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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