Gevo awarded patent for process to upgrade or convert ethanol and bio-based alcohols to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels
Gevo has received a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a process that encompasses upgrading ethanol and bio-based alcohols into drop-in, bio-based diesel and jet-fuel products.
The USPTO has awarded Gevo US Patent No. 11,078,433 titled “Conversion of Mixtures of C2-C8 Olefins to Jet Fuel and/or Diesel Fuel in High Yield from Bio-Based Alcohols.”
The present disclosure provides methods and materials for oligomerization of lower olefins (e.g., C2-C8) to transportations fuels including diesel and/or jet fuel. The oligomerization employs, in certain embodiments, tungstated zirconium catalysts. Surprisingly, the oligomerizations proceed smoothly in high yields and exhibit little to no sensitivity to the presence of significant amounts of oxygenates (e.g., water, lower alcohols such as C2-C8 alcohols) in the feed stream. Accordingly, the present disclosure is uniquely suited to the production of fuels derived from bio-based alcohols, wherein olefins produced from such bio-based alcohols typically contain high levels of oxygenates.—Patent abstract
The patented process establishes a new technology and route to hydrocarbons that did not previously exist. This creates an opportunity for Gevo to diversify ethanol production to help meet increasing demand for renewable diesel and jet fuel.
Securing the patent falls in line with Gevo’s business model to develop, apply, and scale technology that can be used to produce drop-in hydrocarbon fuels. These fuels, when coupled with Gevo’s integrated-systems approach that includes regenerative agriculture and non-fossil-based renewable energy, could produce net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the lifecycle of the product.
This patent covers technology that has the flexibility to make quality renewable diesel fuel or jet fuel from ethanol in a simple catalytic process. Producing renewable diesel makes sense in some regions of the world, whereas in others, producing high levels of jet fuel might be the right economic answer. There is a lot of overlap in the production technology used for the conversion of ethanol or isobutanol to hydrocarbons, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we would broaden our scope.
The combination of using decarbonized, plant-based alcohols, with our proprietary innovations to processing techniques known in the chemical industry can be a very powerful approach to dial-in the desired renewable hydrocarbon fuel product mix.—Dr. Paul Bloom, Chief Carbon and Innovation Officer of Gevo