Gevo resumes commercial production of biobased isobutanol

By Gevo Inc. | June 18, 2013

Gevo Inc. has announced that it has resumed commercial production of isobutanol at its Luverne, Minn., plant in single train mode, successfully utilizing its proprietary Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT).

"I am pleased to report that we have been successful in operating our full-scale fermentation and our GIFT separation system that separates the isobutanol from the fermentation broth. This serves to further validate our technology as we had not previously run the GIFT system at full scale. I can now say that it runs beautifully," noted Patrick Gruber, Gevo CEO.

Gruber continued, "As you may recall, we had some microbial contamination in our plant that we have since learned to control and manage. The fixes included changing the fermentation conditions and related operating parameters, making equipment modifications to improve sanitization, and, most importantly, improving our operating discipline—the procedures we use at the plant.

"We plan to be producing isobutanol and operating throughout the rest of this year. While we are currently operating a single production train, we plan on bringing all of our fermenters and GIFT systems online in the third and fourth quarters, testing run rates, then ramping up production and sales in 2013 and 2014," noted Gruber.

Gevo will sell the isobutanol it produces, using it for market development in the specialty chemicals market, the specialty oxygenated fuel blendstock market, and as a building block to make jet fuel and chemical products such as paraxylene for PET used in the production of bottles and fibers.