ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO), an innovative renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted U.S. Patent No. 8,133,715, entitled “Reduced By-Product Accumulation for Improved Production of Isobutanol.”
“Yeast naturally produces isobutanol at low yields,” said Brett Lund, EVP & General Counsel of Gevo. “In order to produce isobutanol at commercially relevant yields suitable for commercial implementation several improvements to the pathway need to be made, including elimination of pathways that “hijack” carbohydrates. Pathway hijacking lowers yield and creates unwanted by-products. The patent issued today covers the technology to eliminate one of the hijacking pathways, and improves yield of isobutanol by 20 percent. Without this technology, it is doubtful that an isobutanol producing yeast would be commercially viable.”
“When you design a biocatalyst it needs to be efficient,” continued Lund. “Unwanted by-products need to be eliminated or yields would be too low to use the biocatalyst commercially. Our scientists were the first to figure out how to stop these yield reducing pathways. We strongly believe this modification is strictly required for achieving commercially relevant production of isobutanol. Thus, without access to this technology we believe our competitors will be unable to produce isobutanol at economically viable levels.”
“We are pleased that the USPTO continues to recognize our advances in this field,” said Lund. “We are pioneering commercially viable efficiencies in isobutanol production and are on target to startup the world’s first renewable isobutanol operation in 2012. By obtaining and protecting our intellectual property, we are securing our role as the global leader in the technology and commercialization of isobutanol. With this patent we continue to add to our portfolio of more than 300 patents and applications for the economic production of isobutanol, process innovations and downstream product applications.”
Gevo also filed a lawsuit against Butamax™ Advanced Biofuels, LLC (Butamax) and its affiliate E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont). Based on Dupont and Butamax public disclosures, the lawsuit charges Butamax and DuPont infringe this newly issued patent. “Once again, Gevo believes that DuPont and Butamax continue to use technology that is not theirs,” noted Lund.
Gevo is converting existing ethanol plants into biorefineries to make renewable building block products for the chemical and fuel industries. The Company plans to convert renewable raw materials into isobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons that can be directly integrated on a “drop in” basis into existing chemical and fuel products to deliver environmental and economic benefits. Gevo is committed to a sustainable biobased 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, 2010, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Gevo.