Gevo plans to add alcohol-to-hydrocarbon pilot to Luverne site

By Erin Voegele | September 08, 2021

Gevo Inc. on Sept. 7 announced plans to install an alcohol-to-hydrocarbon process pilot at its existing biorefinery located in Luverne, Minnesota. The company also recently announced it has filed environmental permits for its Net-Zero 1 project in South Dakota.

Gevo said the pilot unit planned for installation at its Luverne location is being designed to produce market development quantities of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable premium gasoline and other renewable fuel products. The pilot will also provide capacity to supply market development quantities of chemical products.

The company said installation of the Luverne pilot facility is currently expected to begin during the third quarter of next year, with demonstration production expected the following quarter.

According to Gevo, the company expects to test and evaluate certain potential unit operations that may be incorporated into its proposed Net-Zero 1 facility. That plant, under development in Lake Preston, South Dakota, is currently scheduled to be operational in 2024. The company said installation of the Luverne pilot is part of its plan to use the facility as a technology development and piloting site. The pilot unit is also expected to be used for employee training.

“The work we do at the Luverne facility will be critical in establishing a smooth startup of Net-Zero 1 and future Net-Zero projects for ramping up capacity right out of the gate,” said Paul Bloom, chief carbon and innovation officer of Gevo. “We also plan to use the new pilot capability to support our robust pipeline of new renewable fuel and chemical projects in the future, which is also a first step in converting Luverne into a hydrocarbon facility. We couldn’t do that effectively without the support we’ve received from the City of Luverne and the State of Minnesota. We’re excited to bring more high-quality jobs to the area and to continue to be a part of the Luverne community.”

On Aug. 26, Gevo announced that the air quality and wastewater permit applications for the Net-Zero 1 facility have been filed with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. "These permit applications are on schedule and represent the first of the permits necessary for the construction of Net-Zero 1,” said Chris Ryan, Gevo’s president and chief operating officer. “We are happy to work closely with Pinnacle Engineering, a world-class engineering firm known for specializing in environmental permitting, to draft our permits. These combined efforts are focused on minimizing environmental impact and establishing the lowest CI (carbon intensity) score possible.”