Leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company Gevo has reported on the progress being made at its Luverne, MN facility. The venture has been a rapid learning curve for the company, but is still proceeding according to schedule.
"We are pleased with the progress to date in our initial startup campaign," said CEO Patrick Gruber, Ph.D. "We've shown that we can successfully ferment isobutanol in large (250,000 gallon) commercial fermenters, isolate the product, and get it into tanks and railcars. The learnings gained in achieving this milestone are enormous and further de-risk our technology.”
Isobutanol is a four-carbon fermentation alcohol that can be converted into para-xylene using known chemical processes. Para-xylene is a key raw material in PET production. In December of last year, Gevo announced that it had entered into an agreement with The Coca-Cola Company to create renewable para-xylene from plant-based isobutanol. Gevo is working with Coca-Cola to enable and deliver an integrated system to produce renewable para-xylene, a key building block towards reaching Coca-Cola’s goal of creating all of their packaging from renewable materials.