GEVO EXPANDS TO 1 BILLION GALLONS
Presenting the company’s technology to a group of ethanol producers and farmers at the Nebraska Ethanol Board’s Emerging Issues forum in LaVista, Nebraska, this week, Ryan said Gevo secured agreements with Delta Airlines and oneworld Alliance, to provide SAF volumes.
The Delta agreement includes buying 75 million gallons per year from Gevo for seven years, while the oneworld agreement is for 200 million gallons per year for five years, starting in 2027.
Oneworld’s members include 14 different airlines from around the world.
One of the headwinds for SAF, Ryan said, is found in the attitudes on the coasts about the carbon nature of agriculture. Generally, people on the coasts have a negative attitude about farming, he said, and misconceptions about its carbon-reduction actions and capabilities.
Getting to net-zero SAF, Ryan said, will take help from the agriculture community.
“So, you really have to start with sustainable ag, which here in Nebraska, that’s an easy conversation to have,” he said. However, he noted that on the East and West Coasts, there is a perception that farming is bad, and the average person thinks it’s bad to use corn for SAF. More needs to be done to change attitudes about SAF.
SOUTH DAKOTA CONSTRUCTION
Gevo launched construction on its first commercial-scale SAF plant in Preston Lake, South Dakota, with the capacity to produce 60 million gallons — using corn as a feedstock. In addition to producing SAF, the company hopes to sell hydrogen produced at the plant.
The SAF to be produced by Gevo will be a net-zero fuel, essentially a net-zero carbon footprint.
“It’s whatever that your customers believe is the right way to measure that carbon footprint and deliver that at the right cost for the market,” Ryan said.
Gevo has spent more than a decade developing a technology that uses isobutanol — an ethanol cousin — which allows the company to use agriculture feedstocks such as corn to produce the alcohol.
The company will then use isobutanol to make isobutylene, which is one of the key feedstocks used to produce fuels and chemicals.
Last year, Gevo signed an agreement with a company called Axens, a developer of ethanol-to-jet technology.
Though its primary focus is on SAF, Ryan said Gevo is working on a variety of renewable energy projects, including the use of sunlight, wind and biogas, to produce energy products demanded by the market.
Gevo bought an ethanol plant in Luverne, Minnesota, where the company produces both ethanol and isobutanol.
Although the future of state and federal policies to support SAF and other renewable-energy projects remains in flux, Ryan said Delta and other airlines are committed to replacing fossil-based fuel with SAF — with or without policy support.
“If you look at the Delta website, you can see their commitment to carbon neutrality and the importance that SAF is going to play there,” he said.
“If you look at the whole SAF industry, it’s projected to be 130 billion gallons by 2030. You know, 13 billion gallons is a huge opportunity. The catch is you’ve got to deliver the data to deliver the product they want, which is it’s not like a little carbon reduction. This is a net-zero fuel.”
Gevo also recently completed construction on a renewable natural gas project in northwest Iowa, connected to a 20,000-head dairy.
The RNG produced there will be sold to a pipeline and trucked to its new SAF plant in South Dakota.
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @DTNeeley
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