Industry giants Gevo, Inc. and Clariant, Corp. have just announced a crucial new agreement that will see widespread changes and increased adoption of bio-based solutions across chemical markets.
The exclusive deal will see Clariant scale up catalysts for Gevos ‘ethanol-to-olefins’ technology, an exciting move that underscores the growing potential for it’s bio-based chemical solutions to be rolled out across traditional value-chains.
So what is the significance of the partnership between Gevo and Clariant?
Clariant, one of the worlds leading specialty chemical companies, has just committed to pioneering the project to scale-up catalysts for Gevos innovative ethanol-to-olefins technology, also known as ETO. This ground-breaking ETO technology converts ethanol into value-add products such as propylene, butylene and hydrogen that can be used across chemical markets for a host of applications.
Underpinning the ETO technology was Gevos revolutionary invention of proprietary mixed metal oxide catalysts that produce polymer-grade propylene or high purity isobutylene, along with hydrogen in significantly high yields in a single processing step from conventional fuel grade specification ethanol.
As previously disclosed, Gevos ETO technology, which uses ethanol as a feedstock, produces uniquely tailored mixes of the propylene, isobutylene and hydrogen, which are valuable as stand-alone molecules, or as feedstocks to produce a diverse range of high-demand products such as diesel fuel and commodity plastics, that would be drop-in replacements for their fossil-based equivalents.
This partnership will therefore act as a significant boost to the growing implementation of bio-based substitutes in global markets and overall corporate sustainability goals.
Increased market value
Clariant is committed to the development and scale-up of the catalyst, which is expected to continue the advancement of the ETO technology, while Gevo will focus the majority of its internal resources on the ongoing optimisation of its core isobutanol technology.
Once the ETO technology has been successfully developed and scaled-up, Clariant will then be in a position to produce quantities of the catalyst needed to meet commercial production requirements making it a truly viable alternative.
As with its isobutanol technology, Gevo anticipates growing its ETO business through this kind of licensing. Gevo has filed a series of patent applications related to this technology.
The ETO technology has the potential to provide a staggering estimated 25 billion gallon global ethanol industry a much broader set of end-product market and margin opportunities, beyond the use of ethanol as a gasoline blendstock. It has the potential to address a variety of markets in the chemicals and fuels fields, such as automobile parts, packaging, durable goods made of plastic, renewable diesel fuel and renewable hydrogen for the chemical, energy and fuel cell markets.
Stefan Brejc, Head of Specialty Catalysts Business Segment at Clariant explains the importance of the joint project;
“We see the opportunity for Clariant catalysts to convert ethanol, produced from cellulosic or other carbohydrate sources, into more value-added products to create greater growth potential for the ethanol industry.”
Dr. Patrick Gruber, Chief Executive Officer of Gevo mirrors these sentiments;
“We are pleased to be working with Clariant. They have tremendous capability and know-how to scale-up developmental, customised catalysts to enable commercialisation of new, large-scale processes. We see the potential with this technology to address several major opportunities cutting across chemicals, plastics, fuels and hydrogen.”
You may also be interested in…