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Renewable butanol company Gevo brings second million-liter fermenter and GIFT system online

Gevo, Inc., the producer of bio-based isobutanol, has brought its second million-liter fermenter and GIFT (Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology) system online at its Luverne, Minn. facility.

Gevo will sell the isobutanol it produces in the specialty chemicals and specialty oxygenated fuel blendstock markets, and use it as a building block to make jet fuel and chemical products, such as paraxylene, which is converted into PET and used in the production of bottles and fibers.

We plan to bring the final fermenters and GIFT system online at Luverne later this year, testing run rates, then ramping up production and sales over the balance of 2013 and in 2014.

—Patrick Gruber, Gevo CEO

GIFT consists of two main elements:

  • A proprietary yeast biocatalyst, which converts sugars derived from multiple renewable feedstocks into isobutanol; and

  • A proprietary separation unit which is designed to bolt onto existing ethanol facilities.

The production technology is similar to ethanol production, except that Gevo replaces the ethanol-producing biocatalyst with its isobutanol-producing biocatalyst and then adds a separation unit. Gevo’s business model is to convert existing ethanol plants into bio-refineries to make isobutanol.

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