Gevo has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sweetwater Energy regarding the use of sustainably sourced agricultural residues as a feedstock for producing cellulosic alcohols and energy-dense renewable liquid hydrocarbons.
Sweetwater plans to build, own and operate a facility adjacent to Gevo’s existing plant in Luverne, Minnesota, to produce high-value, plant-based products from cellulose and lignin while supplying Gevo with up to 30,000 tonnes of cellulosic sugars annually.
The new Sweetwater facility would utilise its proprietary Sunburst technology for deconstructing lignocellulosic biomass.
Gevo plans to use the offtake of the low-cost, cellulosic sugars co-produced by Sweetwater for the anticipated production of cellulosic alcohols and renewable hydrocarbons.
“We’re very excited to work with Gevo,” said Arunas Chesonis, chairman and CEO of Sweetwater Energy. “This partnership fits perfectly with our goal for the company—replacing petroleum products with renewable solutions at a price point so low that making the right decision for the planet is also the right decision for our customers. This is the beginning of a collaboration that will pay very real dividends for present and future generations.”
Gevo was the first company to demonstrate conversion of cellulosic sugars to make sustainable aviation fuel meeting the ASTM D7566 specification allowing it to be used for commercial flights.
The company expects it can be commercialised effectively when cost-effective sources of these sugars meet sustainability goals.
In addition, cellulosic D3 RINs are high value and create an opportunity for Gevo to leverage its Luverne plant with anticipated better returns to make higher value products that are in demand in the marketplace.
“Combining forces with Sweetwater is a great way to leverage the best technology and resources from both parties to expand our addressable feedstocks to produce cellulosic alcohols and energy dense hydrocarbon fuels and plant-based products,” said Dr Paul Bloom, chief carbon and Innovation officer of Gevo.
“Working together we anticipate delivering products to the market faster while decreasing risk throughout the value chain and lowering overall product carbon intensities through a systems approach to decarbonisation. This is an important step to expand the portfolio of carbohydrates we intend to process to include cellulosic sugars that represent a huge amount of feedstock globally.”
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