US Gevo to start making ethanol along with isobutanol

25 March 2014 23:02 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Gevo is moving to produce both isobutanol and ethanol from its Luverne, Minnesota, plant, the US biofuel maker announced on Tuesday.

The move is due to “steady progress” made in the company’s flexible production technology strategy and current high ethanol margins, Gevo said in a news release.

“Producing both ethanol and isobutanol allows Gevo to fully utilise the Luverne plant and increase cash flow as Gevo continues to commercialise its isobutanol production capabilities,” the company said.

Gevo’s yeast biocatalyst and its proprietary GIFT system uses corn mash to produce isobutanol but can also be used to produce ethanol. The company hopes that, besides the financial benefits of producing ethanol currently, the “side-by-side” production of the two fuels at a single site will broaden the potential licensing market.

Gevo’s isobutanol can be used as a building block to make jet fuel and chemical products in markets such as plastics and fibres, as well as solvents and coatings.

By Jeremy Pafford