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Gevo and HCS Group to produce renewable low-carbon chemicals and sustainable aviation fuel in Europe

Gevo, Inc. and HCS Group GmbH, a long-time customer of Gevo, have signed a project memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop and to build a renewable hydrocarbon facility at HCS Group’s site located in Speyer, Germany, which would utilize Gevo’s low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) technology: Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene.

ATJ-SPK starts as isobutanol produced via fermentation using Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT). The isobutanol must then go through additional steps at a biorefinery where it can be refined into ATJ-SPK and isooctane.

Through dehydration, isobutanol is turned into isobutylene, a C4 building block, in a chemical process by stripping away the oxygen as water. Oligomerization turns the isobutylene into C8 and C12 olefins. The olefins have only one double bond and are readily hydrogenated to hydrocarbons. The resulting hydrocarbons are distilled to ATJ and isooctane products.

The MOU anticipates a first project that is estimated to produce approximately 60 kMT (22 million gallons per year) of renewable hydrocarbons, advanced renewable fuels, and low-carbon SAF at HCS Group’s Speyer site by the end of 2024.

The HCS Group manufacturing center, operated by the Haltermann Carless brand, is strategically located in the geographical center of Europe, at the Rhine river and in the vicinity of Frankfurt airport, offering excellent prerequisites for supplying customers in Europe with SAF, certified under Europe’s Renewable Energy Directive (EU REDII), and a portfolio of certified renewable drop-in fuels and specialty chemicals.

This project, developed in technology partnership with Gevo, is a key element of HCS Group’s strategy and our aspiration to be a perpetual pioneer in the area of high-value hydrocarbons, while making a clear contribution to defossilization and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a unique opportunity to enter the SAF market as the first commercial producer in Germany, building on our market success with renewable hydrocarbons.

Using our existing infrastructure in Speyer including our new hydrogenation plant allows us to minimize time-to-market, certification and approval processes, and costs for this first-of-its-kind project.

—Henrik Krüpper, Chief Executive Officer HCS Group

Gevo and SAS. Gevo also recently announced that it and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) have signed an amendment to increase SAS’ minimum purchase obligation to purchase SAF to 5,000,000 gallons per year. Gevo and SAS signed the original fuel sales agreement in October 2019.

Gevo expects to supply SAS with SAF beginning in 2024 from Gevo’s Net-Zero 2 Project for use and distribution in low carbon fuel regions of the United States. The value of the Fuel Sales Agreement, as amended, is estimated at more than $100 million over the entire term of the agreement inclusive of the related SAF and environmental credits.

Net Zero Project production facilities are being designed to produce energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons—SAF and renewable gasoline—using renewable energy and Gevo’s proprietary technology. The first Net-Zero project, Net-Zero 1, is expected to be built in Lake Preston, South Dakota.

Gevo expects that each Net-Zero Project will have the capability to produce approximately 45MGPY of liquid hydrocarbons (jet fuel and renewable gasoline) and are also expected to produce at least 350,000,000 lbs/yr of high protein animal feed.

To reduce and eliminate the fossil fuel resources used in the production facilities, each Net Zero Project is expected to have an anaerobic digestion wastewater treatment plant that is capable of generating enough biogas to run the plant and supply a combined heat and power unit, capable of meeting approximately 30% of the plant’s electricity needs. The remaining 70% of electricity to run the plant is expected to come from wind power. Net-Zero 1 may also obtain renewable natural gas (RNG) using manure from dairy or beef cows.


Prashanta Dhakal

Lots of interesting movement in the alternative fuel market lately. Cielo Waste Solutions is promising to produce renewable diesel from almost any organic feedstock, including all kinds of plastics at a lower cost than the cost of pumping and refining crude oil in the ground. The hydrocarbon industry is going to look very different in 10 years.

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