Introducing Net-Zero 1: A Source for Sustainable Liquid Hydrocarbons

Gevo announced the concept of Net Zero Projects in early 2021, and the first of these projects is expected to build a plant to produce energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons using renewable energy and Gevo’s proprietary technology.

Gevo has purchased approximately 240 acres of land near Lake Preston, South Dakota, where it is currently developing its Net-Zero 1 Project. This site is attractive because of its abundant sustainable corn supply, high-protein feed demand, rail transportation, and renewable energy potential. 

Net-Zero 1 is expected to transform renewable energy into energy-dense liquids.

The name “Net-Zero 1” is a reference to the net-zero greenhouse gas emissions expected over the whole life of the fuel products we will produce, including the burning of the fuel in an engine or boiler.

  • Fuel products are expected to achieve a net-zero GHG footprint across the whole life cycle (Based on full cradle-to-cradle analysis using Argonne National Laboratories GREET model)
  • Includes agricultural practices, energy sources, supply chain, and end fate of product.
  • Fuels produced from agricultural residue, a component of abundant corn feedstock, while producing high-value protein products and corn oil
  • Behind-the-Meter renewable wind power will be used for electricity needs
  • Green Hydrogen is expected to be made from water and renewable electricity
  • Optionality to bring additional renewable natural gas into the program

How Will Net-Zero 1 Work?

Gevo designs our entire business with carbon value in mind from the beginning, and carbon value has an impact on everything we do. We expect to transform renewable energy sources into a drop-in, fungible commodity that can be stored and transported globally and easily. By focusing on carbon value, Gevo is set up to maximize the value of renewable energy sources. When we focus on that goal, everything we do in developing our plans, building our facilities, working with airlines, fuel companies, farmers, and other partners, becomes focused on sustainability.

Producing Zero-Carbon Fuels and More

Gevo expects that Net-Zero 1 would have the capability to produce approximately 65 million gallons per year (MGPY) of liquid hydrocarbons in the form of jet fuel and renewable gasoline. When burned, these fuels should have a “net-zero” greenhouse gas footprint as measured across the whole of the lifecycle based on Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET model.

In addition, Net-Zero 1 is expected to produce at least 695,000 tons per year of high-value nutritional products, as well as approximately 34 million pounds of corn oil.

Seventy percent of the electricity needed to run the plant is expected to come from wind power. Net-Zero 1 may also obtain renewable natural gas (“RNG”) using manure from dairy or beef cows.

Watch this video to understand how Net-Zero 1 is expected to deliver on the promise of Net-Zero transportation fuels.

The Circular Economy Is the Key

This graphic shows how the Circular Economy reuses carbon.

Sustainably grown feedstocks—and our process of de-fossilization—will make the difference. That’s why we intend to put our energy into improving agriculture while putting nutrition into the foodchain.

Gevo’s unique systems approach will be focused on getting the most out of our sustainably grown plant-based feedstock to improve global food supply as well as cut GHG emissions from transportation. We strive to source corn feedstock from farmers who use carbon-sequestering regenerative agricultural practices, then multiply the effect by separating the protein and starch out of every kernel.

  • Nutrition first, Gevo will produce more protein products compared to renewable fuels, on a tonnage basis
  • Farmers succeed, growing their operations and employing more people
  • Better economic conditions help rural communities thrive
  • Farms participate in growth of renewable energy infrastructure
  • Every acre produces both food and fuel

We De-Carbonize Our Entire Process—Starting with Regenerative Agriculture

According to Regeneration International, regenerative agriculture is “a holistic land-management practice that leverages the power of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle, and build soil health, crop resilience, and nutrient density.” Regenerative agriculture is particularly effective with corn:

  • Stalks grow to more than six feet tall each year, drawing carbon from the atmosphere
  • Stalks and leaves store carbon
  • Root structure stores carbon
  • Low-till and no-till farming techniques leave roots, stalks, and leaves in soil
  • Organic matter in soil helps water retention
  • Soil biodiversity helps sequester carbon more deeply

Net-Zero 1 Local Impact on Employment

  • Expected to create approximately 1,500 construction jobs over three years
  • Expected to create ~460 full-time jobs—90 full-time at NZ1, 15 at wind farm, and an additional 355 jobs

Project Net-Zero Fact Sheet

Download this fact sheet to gain a better understanding of the Net-Zero 1 project.

Gevo Meets with Community Leaders Highlighting the Importance of CCS for South Dakota