Gevo Opens Biorefinery for Fully Renewable Paraxylene
Paraxylene is a Key Building Block for Plastic Bottles, Polyester, Films,
Fibers and Textiles
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Aug. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gevo, Inc. (Nasdaq:GEVO),
the world's only commercial producer of bio-isobutanol, today held a ribbon
cutting ceremony for its demonstration-scale paraxylene plant in Silsbee,
Texas. The paraxylene facility is located adjacent to Gevo's existing jet fuel
plant in Silsbee, and establishes the site as a biorefinery that will serve
the renewable chemicals and true drop-in biofuels markets. Congressman Steve
Stockman, Mike Schultheis, Principal Engineer Sustainable Packaging Global R&D
of The Coca-Cola Company, James C. Greenwood, CEO of the Biotechnology
Industry Organization (BIO), and Simon Upfill-Brown, President of South
Hampton Resources were on hand to deliver remarks and participate in the grand
Gevo is working with The Coca-Cola Company to deliver a new production
technology for renewable paraxylene, a key building block for producing fully
renewable PET for beverage bottles. Research and Development support for this
plant was provided by The Coca-Cola Company under a Joint Development
Gevo is working with Toray Industries, Inc. to develop renewable paraxylene, a
building block for fully renewable polyester for packaging films and fibers
used in textiles, clothing and other applications. Funding assistance for the
construction of the paraxylene plant was provided by Toray Industries, Inc.,
one of the world's leading producers of fibers, plastics, films, and
chemicals. Gevo and Toray have successfully produced fully renewable and
recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers and films from isobutanol
at laboratory scale in 2011. Toray has also signed an offtake agreement for
paraxylene produced at the Silsbee facility. Toray will purchase paraxylene
from Gevo and will convert it into PET fibers, textiles and films for scale-up
evaluation and market development purposes.
"We believe we have an elegant, viable route to fully-renewable, non-petroleum
derived PET and we are pleased that The Coca-Cola Company and Toray have
supported this work," said Patrick Gruber, Gevo's chief executive officer.
"Fully renewable PET has the potential to make the world a better place by
reducing our dependence on oil and the environmental consequences associated
with petroleum based raw materials."
"While the technology to make bio-based materials in a lab has been available
for many years, we believe Gevo possesses technologies that have high
potential to create it on a global commercial level within the next few
years," added Scott Vitters, General Manager, PlantBottle™ Packaging
Innovation Platform at The Coca-Cola Company. "The opening of this facility is
an important milestone toward our vision of creating all of our PET plastic
packaging from responsibly-sourced plant materials."
The majority of the world's PET production is for synthetic fibers (in excess
of 60 percent), with bottle production accounting for around 30 percent of
global demand. Gevo's paraxylene, once converted to bio-based PET, has high
potential for any commercial application currently served by petroleum-derived
According to Yukichi Deguchi, Senior Vice President, Member of the Board, and
General Manager of the R&D division at Toray, Toray's management policy states
that all business strategies must place priority on the global environment in
an effort to help realize a sustainable society. Under this policy, Toray is
expanding its biomass-derived materials business centered on research and
development of biomass-derived polymers. "PET is one of the major polymer
products for Toray and the completion of this demonstration-scale facility by
Gevo is a significant step to evaluate business potential for the fully
renewable PET," Deguchi said.
Gevo is a leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company.
Gevo's patent-protected, capital-light business model converts existing
ethanol plants into bio-refineries to make isobutanol. This versatile chemical
can be directly integrated into existing chemical and fuel products to deliver
environmental and economic benefits. Gevo has executed initial
commercial-scale production runs at its isobutanol facility in Luverne, Minn.,
constructed in conjunction with ICM, a leading provider of proprietary ethanol
process technology, and has a marquee list of partners including The Coca-Cola
Company, Sasol Chemical Industries, and LANXESS, Inc., an affiliate of LANXESS
Corporation, among others. Gevo is committed to a sustainable bio-based
economy that meets society's needs for plentiful food and clean air and water.
For more information, visit www.gevo.com.
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 include statements that are not
purely statements of historical fact, and can sometimes be identified by our
use of terms such as "intend," "expect," "plan," "estimate," "future,"
"strive" and similar words. 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 the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements,
whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although
the company 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, 2012,
as amended, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings
made with the SEC by Gevo.
CONTACT: Media Contact:
T: (303) 815-4478
T: (720) 267-8615
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