Gevo restarts isobutanol production at Luverne: what’s happening now, what happened?

June 18, 2013 |

GevoAs Gevo recommences the switchover to bio-based isobutanol at its first commercial plant, we look in-depth at 2012’s contamination issues — and the prospects and path forward.

In Colorado, Gevo 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 Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber.

“We plan to be producing isobutanol and operating throughout the rest of this year, 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” Gruber added.

“We will sell the isobutanol we produce, using it for market development in the specialty chemicals market, in specialty oxygenated fuel blendstocks markets, and as a building block to make fuel products such as jet fuel and chemical products such as paraxylene for polyester used in the production of bottles and fibers.” Isobutanol applications for the specialty chemicals and chemical intermediates sectors include work in paraxylene with Toray and Coca-Cola.

In today’s Digest, we look at the bacteria with a sweet tooth that was disrupting Gevo’s progress, how the responsible microbes were isolated and conquered, the role of the 2012 drought in Gevo’s timeline, the path to full production, the Redfield project and other opportunities for expansion, the Gevo-Butamax dispute, and the bottom line, via the page links below.

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