Gevo has two proprietary technologies that combine to make it possible to retrofit existing ethanol plants to produce isobutanol, a four carbon alcohol which serves as a hydrocarbon platform molecule. They have developed an industrial scale yeast biocatalyst to produce isobutanol without typical byproducts operating at parameters equivalent to commercial ethanol producers. The second piece of technology is a separations unit that operates continuously and removes isobutanol during fermentation.
This helps reduce distillation requirements, thereby reducing process energy consumption. With its exclusive engineering partner, ICM, Gevo completed its first commercial retrofit of a 22 MGPY corn ethanol plant in Luverne, MN and started producing isobutanol in early 2012.
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