Gevo, a company specializing in sophisticated biofuels and renewable chemicals, proclaimed that it has started the retrofit works of its Luverne, Minnesota-based ethanol plant to manufacture bio-based isobutanol.
Gevo expects to complete the retrofit by next summer. The upgrading will make the Luverne facility as the first industrial-scale bio-based isobutanol facility in the world. The company bought the Luverne facility in September 2010 from Agri-Energy. The facility has an annual production capacity of 18 million gallons of isobutanol.
Bio-based isobutanol is an ideal substitute for petroleum and several other products. It can be used as a fuel blend stock or as a solvent chemical. It can also be modified into butenes, which are four carbon building blocks. Butenes can be utilized to produce 100% of all hydrocarbon fuels and 40% of all petrochemicals.
The Chief Executive Officer at Gevo, Patrick Gruber stated that isobutanol produced from green raw materials can be employed to produce fuel, plastics and rubber and is an ideal solution to shift the nation’s dependency on petroleum and form a bio-based economy. The company is offering a high-value product that complements the country’s agriculture industry, he added.