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Gevo Wins US Grant for Biomass to Butanol Development

~ $1.8 Million Awarded by DOE & USDA’s Joint Biomass R&D Program ~


ENGLEWOOD, CO. November 13, 2009. Gevo today announced that it has been awarded $1.8 million from the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture’s Biomass R&D Initiative to help fund ongoing development of its yeast strain to produce biobutanol from cellulosic biomass. Biobutanol is an advanced biofuel that can be blended directly into gasoline and be used to make renewable hydrocarbons (“green gasoline”), jet and diesel fuel, chemical intermediates and biobased plastics. Gevo is collaborating with Cargill on the project.

“Cellulosic conversion technology is expected to be commercialized in the next few years,” said David Glassner, Ph.D., executive vice president of technology at Gevo. “Gevo wants to be ready when this happens with a yeast strain we can deploy to make biobutanol.”

Based on Gevo’s license to Cargill’s proprietary cellulosic yeast strain, (announced 2/26/09) the project aims to complete development of an organism that will be cost effective at commercial scale. Biomass represents a significant challenge for fermentation as the complex carbohydrate structures in plant cells (cellulose and hemicellulose) break down into a mixed sugar composition that challenge the metabolism of all microbial strains. Gevo and Cargill each have proprietary technology that will be combined to enable a robust pathway for the fermentation of mixed sugars to biobutanol.

Gevo previously announced (9/30/09) the start up of its 1 million gallon per year demonstration plant. Its commercial strategy is to deploy its technology by retrofitting existing ethanol plants to produce biobutanol. The technology being developed in this project aims to develop a yeast strain for retrofitting cellulosic plants once they are commercialized.

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About Gevo

Gevo is pioneering the development of capital efficient biorefinery systems to provide renewable, cost effective building block products to the fuel and chemical industries. Gevo’s biorefineries will convert renewable raw materials into biobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons that can be directly integrated into existing processes to deliver environmental and economic benefits. Gevo is committed to a sustainable biobased economy that meets society’s need for plentiful food and clean air and water.

For More Information:

Jack Huttner
Executive Vice President, Commercial & Public Affairs Gevo, Inc.
E-mail: JHuttner@Gevo.com
Phone: +1-303-858-8358