Using Living Things to Power Our World

Biofuels are fuels made from plants and developed to replace historic fossil fuels such as petroleum-based aviation fuel, gasoline, diesel fuel, and others. Of course, biofuels have been around for a long time, and they include ethanol, which is alcohol fermented from the starches in plants, and biodiesel, which is refined from vegetable oils, animal fats and used cooking oil.

But times change, and biofuel has changed too. Gevo continues to push the envelope to develop new biofuels that meet or exceed the standards that the petroleum-based fuels do.

Sustainable aviation fuel that meets the same standard as petroleum-based jet fuel means that a plane at an airport with a half-full tank of petroleum fuel can fill up with sustainable, low-carbon aviation biofuel. And vice versa, the opposite scenario works as well—the fuels are interchangeable.

Renewable gasoline created from a blend of corn-based isooctane and isobutanol can be added to the tank of a car, which can then fill up with petroleum-based gasoline at the next gas station.

A biodiesel developed by Gevo will meet the same standards as petroleum-based diesel, but offers reduced carbon dioxide emissions, no particulates, and lower sulfur levels that will meet the requirements for marine diesel fuel in ports around the world.

Gevo develops biofuels with the eventual goal of replacing the whole gallon of their respective fossil fuels. Biofuels currently can be blended with the existing stocks of petroleum-based fuels, but the company is focused on creating fuels that may someday stand on their own.

Best of all, biofuels use the carbon that is already in the atmosphere, rather than releasing the sequestered carbon held in fossil fuels, which is what the refining and burning of fossil fuels does. That’s because biofuels are made from plants, which draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Through Gevo’s synthetic biology and industrial chemistry, these carbons are transformed into the hydrocarbons that produce energy in biofuel.