Side-by-Side Operation of Luverne Plant on Track
1) it facilitates the process optimization of commercial-scale isobutanol production;
2) it maximizes the utilization of the plant to generate cash by utilizing all the fermentation assets; and
3) it demonstrates the simultaneous production of isobutanol and ethanol, for the benefit of potential licensee partners who are interested in augmenting the fermentation capacities of their ethanol plants to co-produce isobutanol.
"The implementation of the SBS is tracking to our plan and validating the underlying premises for switching to this mode of production. Operating all the assets of the plant has aided us greatly in solving issues that were impeding the ramp-up of isobutanol using one fermenter in isolation, specifically the consistent management of infections and the handling of recycle streams and solids," said Dr.
The following are some of the key results achieved thus far:
- Successfully produced isobutanol at initial run rates of tens of thousands of gallons per month in a commercial-scale one million liter fermenter (in line with previous guidance);
- Isobutanol yields have reached >90% of target based on starch content, up from approximately 70% prior to running SBS;
- Reduced isobutanol batch cash costs by >25% since beginning SBS, with a clear path towards targeted economic rates;
- Produced and sold IDGs® (animal feed from isobutanol production);
- Achieved 100% recycle streams (up from 90%), while consistently producing sterile mash, controlling infections and growing isobutanol producing yeast;
- GIFT® continues to work as designed (controlling the concentration of isobutanol to desired levels in the fermentation broth, by removing and collecting the isobutanol for further downstream processing); and
- No yeast cross-contamination from the ethanol system.
- Produced ethanol at a run rate of approximately 1.5 million gallons per month (above previous guidance of 1.25 million gallons per month);
Generating revenue of more than
$3 millionper month at Luverne; and
- No yeast cross-contamination from the isobutanol system.
"By operating in the SBS we have been able to mitigate the recycle, infection, solids handling and plant operability issues. It is satisfying to see that our yeast and GIFT technology work well at commercial scale. Our yields and costs have improved very quickly. And while we have more work to do, I am pleased with our overall progress and look forward to continuing to increase the production levels of isobutanol at the plant. By running the SBS we have dramatically reduced our cash burn at the plant and we are targeting breakeven at
"In addition, we are very pleased with the
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