ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Oct. 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ:GEVO), announced today that it has completed production of the world’s first cellulosic renewable jet fuel that is specified for commercial flights. Gevo successfully adapted its patented technologies to convert cellulosic sugars derived from wood waste into renewable isobutanol, which was then further converted into Gevo’s Alcohol-to-Jet fuel (ATJ) fuel. This ATJ meets the ASTM D7566 specification allowing it to be used for commercial flights. The revisions to the ASTM D7566 specification, which occurred earlier this year, includes ATJ derived from renewable isobutanol, regardless of the carbohydrate feedstock (i.e. cellulosics, corn, sugar cane, molasses, etc.).
Gevo produced over 1,000 gallons of the cellulosic ATJ. Alaska Airlines is expected to fly the first commercial flight using this cellulosic jet fuel in the next few months. Gevo believes that this would be the first ever commercial flight flown with a cellulosic renewable jet fuel. This follows on the back of the two commercial flights that were flown by Alaska Airlines on Gevo’s ATJ in June of this year. The ATJ for the June flights was derived from isobutanol produced at Gevo’s Luverne, MN, production facility using sustainable corn as the sugar feedstock.
The cellulosic ATJ was produced in conjunction with the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA). NARA supplied the sugars that were derived from forest residuals in the Pacific Northwest. Gevo produced the cellulosic renewable isobutanol at its demonstration facility in St. Joseph, MO, that it jointly operates with ICM Inc. The cellulosic renewable isobutanol was then transported to Gevo’s biorefinery facility in Silsbee, TX, that Gevo operates with South Hampton Resources where the cellulosic renewable isobutanol was converted into ATJ.
“I have long championed the development of commercial jet fuel made from renewable sources. It was what we first envisioned when the Virgin Green Fund invested in Gevo with the aim of developing fuel from cellulosic materials such as wood waste. I am very pleased the first commercial flight using Gevo's cellulosic jet fuel is to be flown soon by Alaska Airlines, as we look to move the aviation industry towards a renewable future," said Sir Richard Branson.
“Gevo’s production of this cellulosic ATJ removes all doubt that cellulosic sugars can be successfully converted into isobutanol using Gevo’s technology. Gevo’s ATJ technology then reliably converts isobutanol into renewable jet fuel, regardless of the sugar source. I’m looking forward to seeing this fuel power an Alaska Airlines flight in the near future. I wish to congratulate our team at Gevo, all the other NARA members, and thank the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, who funded the work,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, Gevo’s Chief Executive Officer.
Gevo is a member of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) and is providing the organization with technology to enable the commercial scale processing of cellulosic sugars from wood waste into valuable products. NARA is a five-year project supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and is comprised of 33 member organizations from industry, academia and government laboratories. Its mission is to facilitate development of biojet and bioproduct industries in the Pacific Northwest using forest residuals that would otherwise become waste products.
Gevo is a leading renewable technology, chemical products, and next generation biofuels company. Gevo has developed proprietary technology that uses a combination of synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering to focus primarily on the production of isobutanol, as well as related products from renewable feedstocks. Gevo’s strategy is to commercialize biobased alternatives to petroleum-based products to allow for the optimization of fermentation facilities’ assets, with the ultimate goal of maximizing cash flows from the operation of those assets. Gevo produces isobutanol, ethanol and high-value animal feed at its fermentation plant in Luverne, Minnesota. Gevo has also developed technology to produce hydrocarbon products from renewable alcohols. Gevo currently operates a biorefinery in Silsbee, Texas, in collaboration with South Hampton Resources Inc., to produce renewable jet fuel, octane, and ingredients for plastics like polyester. Gevo has a marquee list of partners including The Coca-Cola Company, Toray Industries Inc. and Total SA, among others. Gevo is committed to a sustainable bio-based economy that meets society’s needs for plentiful food and clean air and water.
Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements relate to a variety of matters that are not purely statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements related to Alaska Airlines’ intent and ability to use the cellulosic renewable jet fuel produced by Gevo for a commercial flight in the coming months; and Gevo’s ability to produce and increase its production of renewable isobutanol and jet fuel from cellulosic feedstocks. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Gevo and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Gevo undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although Gevo believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Gevo in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Gevo for the year ended December 31, 2015 and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by Gevo.
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