Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO), a leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company, signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Beta Renewables, a joint venture between Chemtex and TPG, to develop an integrated process for the production of bio-based isobutanol from cellulosic, non-food biomass.
The project would integrate Beta’s PROESATM technology and Gevo’s GIFT® and ATJ technologies, with anticipated production plants to be located where cellulosic feedstocks such as switchgrass, miscanthus, agriculture residues and other biomass will be readily available. The agreement also anticipates commercialization of the technology upon project success, which could enable renewably sourced, competitively priced jet fuel as well as other chemicals and fuels made from isobutanol.
“Gevo has always said that we are feedstock agnostic and, when the technology and feedstock supply chain are ready, we would use our isobutanol process with cellulosic feedstocks. This allows us to access a larger carbohydrate pool as feedstock for isobutanol production, which help keep costs down and enables production facilities in regions of the world rich in biomass resources,” said Gevo COO and President Chris Ryan in a presentation at the U.S. Department of Energy’s BIOMASS 2012 conference. “With the success of our Luverne, Minn. plant startup and Beta Renewables’ cellulosic sugar technology, we’re ready to position Gevo to be on the forefront of cellulosic isobutanol and isobutanol derivatives, such as jet fuel, through the integration of the companies’ respective technology platforms. Beta Renewables is a leader in cellulosic conversion technology and we look forward to a range of collaborations, including partnering with Beta to meet the requirements of the U.S. government’s Defense Production Act Title III project.”
“This is the latest example of Beta Renewables’ PROESA technology enabling lower-cost delivery of bio products – whether cellulosic ethanol from our first-in-the-world, commercial-scale plant in Crescentino, or from GraalBio’s multiple plants; from jet fuel produced in partnership with Gevo or from other bio-based chemicals. Gevo is a leader in the fermentation of sugar into isobutanol and a great partner for this effort,” said Dario Giordano, Chief Technology Officer of Beta Renewables and M&G Corporate Director.
The companies are evaluating future opportunities to partner on other U.S. and international projects with a long-term goal of developing a licensable package for future interested third parties.
Beta Renewables is currently building a 60,000 metric ton (approximately 20 million gallon) per year bio-refinery in Crescentino, Italy that will produce cellulosic ethanol using its PROESA™ process as well as ‘green’ electricity. Construction has begun and plant startup is targeted for the end of 2012.