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Bio-Butanol Startup Closes $17M Financing Round

Mercury News. Gevo, a spinoff from Caltech that is targeting the production of bio-butanol and other advanced biofuels from a variety of biomass feedstocks, has closed a $17-million third round of funding.

New investors include life sciences merchant bank Burrill & Co. and the Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, who joined Khosla Ventures and Virgin Green Fund. The biofuel start-up has already raised more than $30 million since the beginning of last year.

Gevo is engineering suitable host organisms and is developing a proprietary process technology to convert cellulosic crops and waste into advanced alochol-based liquid fuels such as isobutanol and butanol.



biobutanol seems to me a very promising biofuel. better energy density than ethanol, can run in existing petrol engines, and now better organisms to produce more butanol per unit of feedstock. glad to see it's getting the funding it deserves.


When startups actually create something I can put in my gas tank at the local Shell station, I'll cheer. Until then I say "That's nice."


It is also easier to separate from water than ethanol due to lower solubility but its octane number and its toxicity is higher is lower, nobody's perfect.

BP is putting a lot of hope in butanol, but they haven't announced major breakthrough so far, the problem being that they use bacteria and not yeast. Bacteria are less robust than yeast and quickly stop to work as soon as the amount of butanol reach 4% well before the solubility limit of 9%. So serious barrier but enginereed bacteria should improve all this, will see.


More, more, more cellulosic!

Al Fin

The superior ease of separation of butanol should allow for better continuous fermentation processes. In other words, pull out the butanol as soon as it is produced and the concentration of butanol will never rise above that critical level.


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