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Gevo and BioFuel Energy collaborate to produce isobutanol

Leading renewable chemical producer Gevo has announced a collaboration with US-based ethanol producer BioFuel Energy to explore high-volume production of isobutanol.

‘The capacity of BioFuel's plants would allow us to begin delivering isobutanol at the scale that refinery customers are likely to demand,’ says Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. ‘BioFuel Energy has agreed to explore a possible retrofit of their assets to produce isobutanol.’

Although Gevo and Biofuel Energy signed a development agreement earlier this year, the companies only recently completed their preliminary evaluation of technical feasibility.

The companies plan to continue working to develop large-scale production of isobutanol at an existing or future BioFuel plant. Specific objectives include a more rigorous assessment of technical feasibility and the development of timelines for engineering, regulatory approvals, financing and construction.

The two companies will also explore the potential for seeking Advanced Biofuel status for isobutanol, which would allow domestic corn-based biofuels to compete more directly with biodiesel and imported ethanol produced from sugarcane.

Gevo recently began the start up of its first commercial-scale isobutanol plant in Luverne, Minnesota with plans for another startup in 2013 at its Redfield, South Dakota joint venture.