Patent News | "Gevo Granted Key Patent Covering Critical Technology to Enable Commercially Viable Yields of Isobutanol Production from Yeast"

Category: Patent News 

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.”

“Once again, Gevo believes that DuPont and Butamax continue to use technology that is not theirs”
“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.