NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Denver, CO, United States, 2010/05/26 - Gevo, Inc., a privately held renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, announced that it has closed a round of funding led by German specialty chemicals company LANXESS. Existing investors also participated in the round.
In connection with this financing, the Company also announced that Dr. Ron Commander, head of the LANXESS Group’s Butyl Rubber Business Unit, will join the Gevo Board of Directors. The LANXESS investment comes after the French oil and gas giant Total invested in Gevo.
“We are extremely pleased to have LANXESS make a strategic investment in Gevo and appreciate their confidence in our isobutanol platform,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. “We expect this renewable hydrocarbon feedstock will have many applications in a variety of chemical markets.”
Isobutanol is a four carbon alcohol widely used in the petrochemical and refining industries. It can be dehydrated with known processes into isobutylene, a hydrocarbon with broad applications in the chemicals and fuels markets. Production by fermentation of plant based (renewable) carbohydrates is widely seen as a lower carbon footprint route than traditional petroleum based production. Gevo and ICM, the Company’s strategic engineering partner, completed the retrofit of ICM’s one million gallon per year ethanol demonstration plant in St. Joseph, MO to make isobutanol in September, 2009.
“With the success of its demonstration plant, we believe Gevo has the technology available to become a valued supply chain partner for LANXESS,” said Dr. Commander.
“This investment opens up possibilities to broaden our future supply options for a key raw material to our leading synthetic rubber businesses,” said Dr. Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the LANXESS Board of Management.
Dr. Ron Commander has served as Head of the LANXESS Group’s Butyl Rubber Business Unit since June 1, 2004. Commander was born in Brisbane, Australia, on April 24, 1950. The Ph.D. chemical engineer was educated in the UK. He embarked on his professional career in 1982 with Polysar Inc. of Sarnia, Canada, joining Bayer AG with its acquisition of Polysar in 1990. Before becoming Head of the LANXESS Butyl Rubber Business Unit in 2004, Dr. Commander worked in research and development, production and technical service at Bayer’s former Rubber Business Group and in business development at Bayer Polymers Shanghai.
About Gevo, Inc.
Gevo (gevo.com) is developing capital efficient biorefinery systems to provide renewable, cost-effective building block products to the fuel and chemical industries. Gevo seeks to convert renewable raw materials into isobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons that can be directly integrated into existing fuel and chemical products to deliver environmental and economic benefits. Gevo is committed to a sustainable biobased economy that meets society’s needs for plentiful food and clean air and water.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 5.06 billion in 2009 and currently around 14,300 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 42 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.