Gevo, a privately held renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company today announced that Peter Meinhold has been recognized by Technology Review magazine as one of the world's top innovators under the age of 35 for developing a process to ferment biomass-derived sugars into isobutanol. Selected from more than 300 nominees by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review, the TR35 is an elite group of accomplished young innovators who exemplify the spirit of innovation. Their work – spanning medicine, computing, communications, nanotechnology, and more – is changing our world.
Isobutanol is a "drop-in" biofuel with advantages compared to ethanol. It can be blended with gasoline at higher ratios than ethanol and can be burned in automotive and small engines without modification. It has higher energy density than ethanol and can be converted into many hydrocarbon fuels like jet and diesel. Fermentation routes to butanol have been known for decades. The challenge has been to produce it cost effectively. Peter Meinhold and the Gevo team developed a proprietary fermentation and separation system, "Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT™)." Using pathway engineering and synthetic biology, the isobutanol pathway is being optimized in an efficient and robust commercial biocatalyst. The objective is to minimize the production of unwanted by-products, improve isobutanol yield and purity, and thereby reduce operating costs.
"Each year, Technology Review selects 35 innovators under the age of 35 who we believe are transforming technology. Discovering these amazing young men and women is one of the highlights of the year for us," said Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of Technology Review. "We celebrate their success and look forward to their continued advancement of technology in their respective fields."
Peter Meinhold and the other TR35 winners for 2010 will be featured in the September/October issue of Technology Review and online at technologyreview.com/tr35. In addition, the EmTech@MIT 2010 Conference, to be held September 21–23 at MIT, will honor the winners with a dedicated awards ceremony and in a series of "Meet the TR35" presentations.
Additional information about past and present TR35 winners and judges is available at technologyreview.com/tr35. For more information about EmTech@MIT 2010 please visit technologyreview.com/emtech.
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.
For Technology Review: Contact: Marissa Goldstein / P: 617-391-9646 / E: press[.]technologyreview.com.