Butamax, Gevo Settle, Will Work Together on Market Development
(Gevo/Butamax/Ethanol Producer Magazine) Gevo Inc. and Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC, a joint venture between BP and DuPont, announced that they have entered into worldwide patent cross-license and settlement agreements, ending a patent dispute related to technologies for the production of biobased isobutanol. This settlement ends all of the lawsuits and creates a new relationship between the companies, aimed at leveraging each other’s strengths and accelerating development of competitive supply for isobutanol.
The cross-license agreement grants both parties patent licenses to all fields for isobutanol and is structured to develop robust and sustainable isobutanol markets. The license will be royalty bearing for Butamax in certain fields and royalty bearing for Gevo in other fields. There are also a number of fields that are royalty-free for both companies. Both parties can sell up to 30 MMgy royalty-free into any field.
Butamax will take the lead role in developing the market for isobutanol as an on-road gasoline blendstock. This will include progressing ongoing programs to gain required EPA approvals for mainstream use of 16 percent isobutanol as a gasoline blend component. Butamax has also conducted joint research with Underwriters Laboratories, which has demonstrated that these blends can be used safely in fuel storage and dispensing equipment meeting current UL standards. It is expected that UL’s guidance will clear the way for state government agencies to consider and approve the dispensing of biobutanol-gasoline fuel blends in the U.S.
In parallel, Gevo will lead development of the jet fuel market. Gevo has been producing and selling alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) derived from isobutanol since 2011. To date, Gevo’s ATJ has been produced at its demo biorefinery in Silsbee, Texas, using isobutanol produced at its Luverne, Minnesota, fermentation facility. The company has successfully flown tests flights with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy and now expects to secure the MIL-SPEC certification (JP-8 and JP-5) enabling bids on future RFPs for renewable jet fuel by the Defense Logistics Agency. Gevo also intends to begin test flights with the commercial aviation industry, including Alaska Airlines, following receipt of ASTM International certification, expected before the end of 2015.
While Butamax and Gevo have cross-licensed all of their patents for making and using isobutanol, both parties will have their own biocatalyst and process technologies. READ MORE / MORE and MORE (Biofuels Digest) and MORE (Gevo)