Gevo licenses isobutanol technology to Praj

By Gevo Inc. | March 25, 2015

Gevo has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Praj Industries Ltd. to become a Gevo licensee for producing renewable isobutanol at sugar-based ethanol plants.

Under the MOU, Praj will undertake to license up to 250 million gallons of isobutanol capacity for sugar-based ethanol plants over the next ten years. Gevo will market the isobutanol produced by Praj's sub-licensees. Praj will also contribute process engineering and equipment services to expand isobutanol capacity at Gevo's plant in Luverne, Minnesota, as well as to improve yields and optimize energy consumption at the facility.

Praj is a global leader in the ethanol and brewery industries, in addition to the industrial wastewater treatment, pharma, biotech and cosmetic sectors. It has blue-chip customers across five continents and 60 countries. Praj has core expertise and experience is in process and integration engineering, as well as equipment and system manufacturing, with a strong focus on sustainable development with the help of in-house state-of-the-art R&D facilities to back up process expertise. Praj's fiscal year 2014 group revenues were approx INR 10 billion ($160 million), and employs over 1,000 people globally, with 85 percent of its workforce comprising engineers and technical experts across its core sectors.

 "Praj has conducted significant diligence on Gevo's corn starch-based isobutanol technology and we believe in the technology," said Pramod Chaudhari, executive chairman of Praj. "Isobutanol has a substantial market opportunity given that isobutanol is a high performance biofuel that can solve many of the issues of 1st generation biofuels. It also enables a true biorefinery model wherein a number of specialty chemicals and bio-products can be produced using isobutanol as a feedstock. We look forward to creating a new opportunity for 1st generation sugar-based ethanol plant owners, as well as accelerating the use of 2nd generation cellulosic feedstocks to produce isobutanol."

"We are very pleased to be working with Praj and having them become an important licensee and partner," said Dr. Patrick Gruber, Gevo CEO. "This new strategic alliance demonstrates the flexibility of Gevo's GIFT technology to convert a wide range of sugar sources into isobutanol. It also continues to validate the interest in licensing our intellectual property portfolio as we look to transition our business to focus more on a licensing model."