Jan 8, 2015
Gevo Inc, the world's only commercial producer of renewable isobutanol, today reported an update on the progress of the Side-by-Side operational mode (SBS) of its plant in Luverne, MN.
In June 2014, Gevo commenced the co-production of isobutanol and ethanol at Luverne, with one fermenter dedicated to isobutanol production and three fermenters dedicated to ethanol production. Gevo had articulated a goal of reaching isobutanol production levels of 50-100 thousand gallons per month by the end of 2014. In the month of December, Gevo produced over 50 thousand gallons of isobutanol, meeting the Company's stated goal.
Other key highlights since the last plant update provided in Gevo's third quarter earnings release include:
Implementation of a second-generation yeast isobutanol biocatalyst at Luverne that significantly improves plant operability.
Increased the isobutanol fermentation rate by approximately 20% versus the best performing batch using the first-generation yeast.
Can produce in operating conditions that enable further mitigation of potential infections, as well as the improved management of the iDGs animal feed co-product.
This second-generation yeast platform, which is a product of a new yeast modification capability developed by Gevo, speeds up the development and implementation of new traits in Gevo's yeast through high-speed combinatorial techniques.
NAPA Myers Auto Parts began selling off-road fuel developed by Gulf Racing Fuels containing blends of up to 16% of Gevo's renewable isobutanol in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Minnesota for use in boats, ATVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles.
"We are very pleased to have achieved our milestone of producing over 50 thousand gallons of isobutanol in a month, while continuing the co-production of ethanol. Since announcing in March 2014 that we would be switching Luverne over to SBS, we have consistently met our operational targets. I would like to thank the entire Gevo team for all of their hard work in continuing to prove out isobutanol production at a commercial scale. We are also extremely excited to have implemented our new yeast biocatalyst at Luverne. We believe that this yeast platform will enable even greater progress of our commercial isobutanol production," said Dr. Patrick Gruber, Gevo's CEO.
"The anticipated benefits of switching Luverne to SBS have borne out. Producing alcohol in all four fermenters improves the operating environment for the optimization of our isobutanol production by creating a continuous and stable mash flow and a more consistent recycle of water through the plant. SBS has also dramatically improved the cash flow profile of the plant. In fact, we estimate that the plant operated at roughly an EBITDA breakeven level in November. Overall, we believe that we have made tremendous progress in proving out our isobutanol technology for potential licensees," Gruber added.
"We are also very encouraged by the enthusiasm of the market to adopt Gulf Racing Fuels' gasoline blends with Gevo's renewable isobutanol for marine and off-road applications. These are ideal markets to demonstrate isobutanol's beneficial properties and set the stage for entry into the larger on-road market," he said.
Read more about Gevo here