Gevo, a privately held renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, today announced that it has successfully produced isobutanol from fermentable sugars derived from cellulosic biomass. The company also successfully converted the cellulosic isobutanol into isobutylene and paraffinic kerosene (jet fuel).
The production of isobutanol from cellulosic biomass is the subject of a previously announced $1.8 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy and Agriculture’s Biomass R&D Program. The grant supports the ongoing development of a cellulosic biocatalyst that Gevo exclusively licensed from Cargill.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates Gevo’s progress in making its biocatalyst viable for use in cellulosic biorefineries,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. “As the cellulosic ethanol industry becomes operational, companies could have the option to produce isobutanol instead of ethanol.”
A Viable Platform for Renewable Fuels and Chemicals
Isobutanol is a naturally occurring, four-carbon alcohol found in food and some alcoholic beverages. It is also a “drop-in” platform chemical with broad applications in the product of approximately 40 percent of petrochemicals and 100 percent of hydrocarbon fuels. It can be used directly for a solvent and converted to isobutylene, the raw material for plastics and fiber. Gevo believes its isobutanol will provide a route to the renewable production of rubber, polypropylene, polystyrene, and PET. Isobutanol can also be used directly as a gasoline blendstock and as a building block in the production of hydrocarbons found in petroleum-derived gasoline, jet and diesel fuels.
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.