Englewood, Colorado -- Gevo, Inc. said it has begun production at the world's first commercial bio-sourced isobutanol plant, which is located in Luverne, Minnesota.
Gevo retrofitted the former bio-alcohol plant with its proprietary yeast and fermentation system to produce biobased isobutanol. Through initial operation of the Luverne plant, Gevo expects to advance its learning of large-scale production of renewable isobutanol at the site maintaining a goal of producing isobutanol at a run rate of approximately 1 million gallons per month by yearend 2012. Gevo expects to reach full-capacity run rates by year's end 2013.
â€œThis ramp up in production is actually fast for a new technology,â€ said Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. â€œIt would be much longer and present more execution risk if this were a greenfield plant. I like this retrofit approach.â€
Gevo is part-owned by Lanxess, which has said it plans to source at least half the raw materials for its butyl rubber plant in Sarnia, Ontario within the next two years. Isobutanol can be converted into the raw materials used in butyl rubber production.
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Press release from Gevo