Gevo will be developing catalysts for Clariant to enable its ETO technology, which uses ethanol as a feedstock to produce tailor mixes of propylene, isobutylene and hydrogen. These chemicals are valuable as stand-alone molecules and also as feedtstocks to produce other products such as diesel fuel and bioplastics that would replace their petroleum counterparts.
Clariant will be scaling up the catalysts produced by Gevo via its ETO technology that uses mixed metal oxide cayalysts to produce polymer grade propylene or high purity isobutylene as well as high yields of hydrogen from ethanol in a single step. While Clairiant scale-ups the catalyst, Gevo will continue to focus on optimizing its isobutanol technology. According to Gevo, once the ETO technology has been successfully developed and scaled-up, Clariant will be in a position to produce quantities of the catalyst needed to meet commercial production requirements. As with its isobutanol technology, Gevo anticipates growing its ETO business through licensing.
“We see the opportunity for Clariant catalysts to convert ethanol, produced from cellulosic or other carbohydrate sources, into more value-added products to create greater growth potential for the ethanol industry,” said Stefan Brejc, Head of Specialty Catalysts Business Segment at Clariant.
Gevo has filed a series of patent applications related to this technology, and says its ETO technology has the potential to provide the estimated 25 billion gallon global ethanol industry a much broader set of end-product market and margin opportunities, beyond the use of ethanol as a gasoline blendstock.
“We are pleased to be working with Clariant. They have tremendous capability and know-how to scale-up developmental, customized catalysts to enable commercialization of new, large-scale processes. We see the potential with this technology to address several major opportunities cutting across chemicals, plastics, fuels and hydrogen,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, Chief Executive Officer of Gevo.