Breakthrough in Chemical Sector; Gevo Succeeds in Developing Cost-efficient Renewable Isoprene, after the Failed Attempts of Several Chemical Manufacturing Companies

A global leader in manufacturing renewable fuels and chemicals, Gevo Inc., has recently developed a catalytic process that converts low-cost renewable alcohol into renewable isoprene. This is a major breakthrough in the fuel sector as the fuel developed using this process will compete with naturally-developed petroleum.

Furthermore, renewable isoprene enhances its chances to be utilized commercially, on the back of its property to reduce carbon emission in the atmosphere. The process is even capable of transforming alcohol, obtained as a waste by-product into renewable isoprene for its utilization as fuel. Conventionally, isoprene is extensively used for the production of rubber and its products.

Development Process of Low-cost and Low-carbon Renewable Isoprene

The contemporarily used fossil-based fuels emit a large amount of carbon in the atmosphere, which results in the greenhouse effect. On the contrary, the fossil fuels developed by the renewable isoprene is said to reduce the carbon intensity.

The company utilized fusel oil as the raw material to develop renewable isoprene. Fusel oil is a mixture of alcohols, which is obtained as a byproduct from the fermentation processes like ethanol production. Approximately 2.5 Mn tons of potential fusel oil can be obtained as a byproduct from the production of ethanol. This makes it a low-value feedstock for the production of renewable isoprene.

Over the years, many companies have diligently pursued the development of renewable isoprene for its utilization as a low-carbon fuel. However, the fermentation process turned out to be expensive, which prevented the development of renewable isoprene. Gevo’s catalytic chemistry team formulated a chemical-based process that involves the utilization of a chemical catalyst. The catalyst when applied to fusel oils, produced as a by-product, can develop low-cost renewable isoprene.

Demonstration of Excellency by the Catalytic Chemistry Team of Gevo

The process of developing this renewable isoprene was developed by a team of Gevo, led by Jonathan Smith. The company is soon planning to obtain a license for this new technology. This technology will help ethanol producers, independent businesses, and even chemical plants. The Chief Executive Officer of Gevo, Dr. Patrick Gruber cites that the technology could play a pivotal role in addressing the unmet need in the marketplace and make money.

About Gevo

Gevo Inc. is a leading “low-carbon” fuel manufacturing company with a primary aim to develop and commercialize renewable substitutes of petroleum-based products. Gevo’s major area of focus is on the development of extensively utilized fuels such as jet fuel and gasoline by utilizing feedstock with a potential to curtail the emission of greenhouse gas. It also concentrates on the development of chemical products such as plastics, building block chemicals, and solvents.

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About the Author: Mohit Loshali

Mohit Loshali, an experienced campaigner, writes about the latest evolutions and trends in the automotive and allied domains. He has helped clients from across the globe with his thought-provoking research and analysis.

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