Total Cray Valley and Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO) announced today the successful completion of phase 1 of their Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to upgrade fusel oils into renewable isoamylene. The companies are now seeking to advance to Phase 2 of the JDA, which will allow for scale up of Gevo’s technology at a demonstration scale.
Fusel oils, made during the production of ethanol, equate to approximately 1 million tons of bio-based feedstock. The JDA, signed in 2020, is based on Gevo’s chemical-based catalytic processes that selectively convert low-value fusel oils, a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from fermentation processes such as ethanol or isobutanol production, into higher-value renewable chemicals such as isoprene, ketones, aldehydes, or olefins, in this case isoamylene.
Isoamylene is used in a diverse set of applications, including resins, pesticides, flavors and fragrances, pharmaceuticals, healthcare products, adhesives, antioxidants, and UV stabilizers. For Cray Valley, isoamylene is used as a raw material in resin manufacturing.
“We were very satisfied with the results of pilot tests during Phase 1. Gevo’s technology was found to be robust and flexible and the initial economic assessment shows potential for a profitable business” said Valérie Goff, Senior Vice President Polymers at Total . “This JDA between Total Cray Valley and Gevo is an excellent example of collaboration to develop the materials of the future produced from bio-based feedstock and meets a strong demand from our customers.”
“The team has achieved an important milestone with the success of Phase 1 to deliver plant based, low carbon solutions to our partner, Total Cray Valley. We look forward to continuing our track record of success at the demonstration scale,” stated Dr. Paul Bloom, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Gevo . Dr. Bloom continued, “This is a new way to think about decarbonization and biogenic carbon sequestration. Now this byproduct from ethanol, instead of being burned, can be converted into usable products that take CO2 out of the atmosphere while delivering drop-in performance in final products on the market today. For every pound of biobased isoamylene made and used in durable products like resins, it is essentially the equivalent of sequestering 2.5 pounds of biogenic CO2 from the atmosphere, compared to that carbon being combusted. Another example of how Gevo is advancing our focus to net zero and beyond.”
The companies are currently exploring options for scale-up and commercialization of the technology, which would provide the US market with a renewable source of isoamylenes, a world first.
About Total Cray Valley
Total Cray Valley is the premier global supplier of specialty chemical additives, hydrocarbon specialty chemical, and liquid and powder tackifying resins used as ingredients in adhesives, rubbers, polymers, coatings and other materials. Total Cray Valley has pioneered the development of these advanced technologies, introducing hundreds of products that enhance the performance of products in energy, printing, packaging, construction, tire manufacture, electronics, and other demanding applications.
Total is a broad energy company that produces and markets fuels, natural gas and electricity. Our 100,000 employees are committed to better energy that is more affordable, more reliable, cleaner and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, our ambition is to become the responsible energy major.
Gevo’s mission is to transform renewable energy and carbon into energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons. These liquid hydrocarbons can be used for drop-in transportation fuels such as gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel, that when burned have potential to yield net-zero greenhouse gas emissions when measured across the full life cycle of the products. Gevo uses low-carbon renewable resource-based carbohydrates as raw materials, and is in an advanced state of developing renewable electricity and renewable natural gas for use in production processes, resulting in low-carbon fuels with substantially reduced carbon intensity (the level of greenhouse gas emissions compared to standard petroleum fossil-based fuels across their life cycle).
Gevo’s products perform as well or better than traditional fossil-based fuels in infrastructure and engines, but with substantially reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to addressing the problems of fuels, Gevo’s technology also enables certain plastics, such as polyester, to be made with more sustainable ingredients. Gevo’s ability to penetrate the growing low-carbon fuels market depends on the price of oil and the value of abating carbon emissions that would otherwise increase greenhouse gas emissions. Gevo believes that its proven, patented technology enabling the use of a variety of low-carbon sustainable feedstocks to produce price-competitive low-carbon products such as gasoline components, jet fuel and diesel fuel yields the potential to generate project and corporate returns that justify the build-out of a multi-billion-dollar business.
Gevo believes that the Argonne National Laboratory GREET model is the best available standard of scientific-based measurement for life cycle inventory or LCI.