Turning Plant Matter into Renewable Fuel

Renewable-fuel feedstock can come from a variety of sources, and each has numerous benefits. Gevo looks at innovative ways that each feedstock could be used to reduce carbon output in the process of producing energy-dense liquids. We also are looking for feedstocks that help to sequester carbon in the soil through the growing process.

The Different Types of Biofuel Feedstocks

Different methods of making biofuel use different feedstock types. Some use the sugar or starch of the plant seed or root of the plant to feed the fermentation process, consuming the plant biomass we generally consider to be a ready source of carbohydrate energy. Still others us lignocellulosic biomass, which feeds the fermentation process with the hydrocarbons stored in the stems and leaves of the plant.

Sugar and Starch Feedstocks

  • Inedible Field Corn allows us to create immense amounts of high-protein animal feed, and use the unused part of the corn, the starch, to create isobutanol. Corn has large biomass so it captures carbon while it delivers protein to the food supply and also creates energy-dense liquids that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Beets are a traditional sugar crops to be used to produce biofuel.
  • Sugar Cane has substantial hydrocarbon energy, and is a feedstock used in Australia.

Lignocellulosic Feedstocks

  • Rice Straw has historically been burned in southeast Asia, emitting greenhouse gases and air pollution in some Asian countries.
  • Bagasse (sugar cane waste) can be used as a feedstock for biofuel, putting even more of the carbon from sugar growing to good use.
  • Woodslash (forestry waste) can be collected and used to produce biofuel, while reducing wildfire threats.

 

Watch the Video: When it comes to bio-based hydrocarbons, Gevo can use virtually any feedstock that can be grown sustainably to produce renewable fuel. 

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