EPA approves pathway for Isobutanol as an advanced biofuel

By Dan McCue, Renewable Energy Magazine.

The approval is for a pathway for isobutanol produced at Gevo Inc’s Luverne, Minnesota plant to be an advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program.

With a partial substitution of fossil based energy sources that are currently used at Luverne with green energy sources, such as biogas, Gevo said in news release on Thursday that it should be possible for it to achieve the 50 percent or greater greenhouse gas emissions reduction needed to claim the advanced D5 Renewable Identification Number according to the pathway approval.

A RIN is a serial number assigned to biofuels for the purpose of tracking their production, use and trading, as required under the RFS.

RINs can be sold and traded, and as a result carry a monetary value, which is linked to the biofuels that generate the RINs.

Gevo’s isobutanol from feed corn starch currently generates D6 RINs, and with this approval, Gevo’s isobutanol could generate D5 RINs as well.  D5 RIN credits have historically had greater value in the marketplace than D6 RINs, potentially making Gevo’s isobutanol more valuable in the future.

Isobutanol, used as a gasoline blend stock, generates 1.3 RINs per gallon.