Next-generation biofuels company Gevo signed an agreement Tuesday with Beta Renewables, a joint venture between Chemtex and TPG Capital, to develop an integrated process for the production of bio-based isobutanol from cellulosic, non-food biomass.
The project would integrate Betas PROESATM technology and Gevos GIFT and ATJ technologies, the companies said, with anticipated production plants to be located where cellulosic feedstocks such as switchgrass, miscanthus, agriculture residues and other biomass will be readily available.
The agreement also anticipates commercialization of the technology upon project success, which could enable renewably-sourced, competitively-priced jet fuel as well as other chemicals and fuels made from isobutanol.
Gevo has always said that we are feedstock agnostic and, when the technology and feedstock supply chain are ready, we would use our isobutanol process with cellulosic feedstocks, said Gevo chief operating officer Chris Ryan.
This allows us to access a larger carbohydrate pool as feedstock for isobutanol production, which help keep costs down and enables production facilities in regions of the world rich in biomass resources, he added.
This is the latest example of Beta Renewables PROESA technology enabling lower-cost delivery of bio products - whether cellulosic ethanol from our commercial-scale plant in Crescentino, or from GraalBios multiple plants; from jet fuel produced in partnership with Gevo or from other bio-based chemicals, said Dario Giordano, chief technology officer of Beta Renewables .
Gevo is a leader in the fermentation of sugar into isobutanol and a great partner for this effort, he added.
The companies say they are evaluating future opportunities to partner on other US and international projects with a long-term goal of developing a licensable package for third parties.
Beta Renewables is currently building a 60,000 tpy biorefinery in Crescentino, Italy, that will produce cellulosic ethanol using its PROESA process as well as green electricity.
Construction has begun and plant startup is targeted for the end of 2012.