Gevo wins key patent, sues Dupont, Butamax

January 25, 2012 |

In Colorado, Gevo has received a patent on its GIFT separation unit, addressing the separation technology used to produce propanols, butanols, pentanols, and hexanols.  The claims also address how ethanol plants can be retrofitted to produce higher alcohols.

With the news, Gevo immediately sued DuPont and Butamax for infringement of the patent, claiming that the companies are using a process outlined in the description of the patent with Gevo’s permission. The company is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Gevo’s Take

“The technology solves the long-standing problem for the practical production of higher alcohols, specifically how to separate these alcohol products from fermentation broth and achieve economic concentrations. This is the technology, along with our proprietary yeast, being implemented at our Luverne, Minnesota plant,” said Brett Lund, EVP & General Counsel of Gevo.

Butamax responds:

“Butamax is the key innovator in every aspect of the butanol production process including product separation technology. Butamax has invented new technology and processes rather than rely on existing, less effective, technology. Gevo’s new patent offers no inventive advancement over Butamax technology which was invented and patented years before. Further, the patent in question was issued on an expedited basis without consideration of material information which renders the claims invalid.  Butamax has filed a motion to dismiss Gevo’s previous case against Butamax, and will also pursue dismissal of this latest suit.”

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Category: Fuels

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