Denver-based chemical and biofuels company Gevo is buying a Minnesota ethanol plant to produce isobutanol.
The company will acquire Agri-Energy’s ethanol production facility in Luverne, Minnesota and will begin mechanical retrofitting of the plant upon closing. Isobutanol production is expected to begin by the first quarter of 2012, but in the meantime, the facility will continue to produce ethanol. Company officials say plant will provide 18 million gallons per year of production capacity for chemicals and fuels.
“This transaction is another important step in achieving our goal of bringing commercial volumes of renewable isobutanol to the market as soon as possible,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. “The Luverne plant is a very well run facility with a strong operating team. It is a great place to begin our commercialization effort. We expect the facility will be the first among many and want it to be a model project for the future.”
Gevo has developed a proprietary process designed to fit into current ethanol production facilities. The process also enables the production of isobutanol from numerous renewable feedstocks including corn, wheat, sorghum, barley, sugar cane and cellulosic feedstocks when biomass conversion becomes commercially available. Gevo’s integrated fermentation technology (GIFT™) platform consists of two components: a yeast biocatalyst and a separations technology unit that bolts into existing ethanol plants.
“Since its founding in 1998, Agri-Energy has been dedicated to advancing the technology and best practices of the ethanol industry,” said Agri-Energy founding member and Co-op Coordinator David Kolsrud. “We see biobutanol as the next logical step in the industry’s development. We believe isobutanol can be sold into many markets and has product attributes that make it a compelling product for current ethanol producers.”