US Gevo produces first isobutanol at Minnesota plant

10 July 2012 13:52  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Gevo has managed to successfully ferment isobutanol at its recently started-up plant in Luverne, Minnesota, and is preparing shipments to Sasol and other customers, the US-based renewable chemicals firm said on Tuesday.

“We’ve shown that we can successfully ferment isobutanol in large, 250,000-gallon commercial fermenters, isolate the product and get it into tanks and railcars,” said CEO Patrick Gruber.

“The learnings gained in achieving this milestone are enormous and further de-risk our technology,” Gruber added.

Gevo commissioned the plant in May. The retrofitted ethanol plant can produce as much as 18m gal/year (68m litres/year) of isobutanol using Gevo's proprietary yeast and fermentation system.

Gruber added that the Luverne facility would be in a “start-up/learning mode of operation” for most of 2012.

“We still have a lot of work to do: improve plant reliability, improve yields, improve throughput and improve quality,” he said.

“With any new technology there is a lot to learn. We have made great progress so far, and I expect our team to continue to deliver – knocking down issues as they arise,” he added.

Gevo is focused on converting ethanol plants into bio-refineries to produce renewable chemicals and fuels.

Additional reporting by Frank Zaworski

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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