Gevo is a Caltech spinoff focusing in renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels.
Gevo, a privately held renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company today announced that Peter Meinhold has been recognized by Technology Review magazine as one of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35 for developing a process to ferment biomass-derived sugars into isobutanol. Selected from more than 300 nominees by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review, the TR35 is an elite group of accomplished young innovators who exemplify the spirit of innovation. Their work – spanning medicine, computing, communications, nanotechnology, and more – is changing our world.
Isobutanol is a “drop-in” biofuel with advantages compared to ethanol. It can be blended with gasoline at higher ratios than ethanol and can be burned in automotive and small engines without modification. It has higher energy density than ethanol and can be converted into many hydrocarbon fuels like jet and diesel. Fermentation routes to butanol have been known for decades. The challenge has been to produce it cost effectively. Peter Meinhold and the Gevo team developed a proprietary fermentation and separation system, “Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT™).” Using pathway engineering and synthetic biology, the isobutanol pathway is being optimized in an efficient and robust commercial biocatalyst. The objective is to minimize the production of unwanted by-products, improve isobutanol yield and purity, and thereby reduce operating costs. [read more]