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Gevo Inc   (GEVO)
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Gevo Inc Segments

 
 

Business Segments I. Quarter
Revenues
(in millions $)
(Mar 31 2021)
%
(of total Revenues)
I. Quarter
Income
(in millions $)
(Mar 31 2021)
%
(Profit Margin)
Total
0.09 100 % -10.06 -

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Growth rates by Segment I. Quarter
Y/Y Revenue
%
(Mar 31 2021)
Q/Q Revenue
%
I. Quarter
Y/Y Income
%
(Mar 31 2021)
Q/Q Income
%
Total
-98.48 % -51.56 % - -

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  Gevo Inc 's

Business Segments Description



Biocatalyst Overview
Our biocatalysts are microorganisms that have been designed to metabolize sugars to produce isobutanol. Our technology team developed these proprietary biocatalysts to efficiently convert fermentable sugars of all types into isobutanol by engineering isobutanol pathways into the biocatalysts. We designed our biocatalysts to equal or exceed the performance of the yeast currently used in commercial ethanol production in yield (percentage of the theoretical maximum percentage of isobutanol that can be made from a given amount of feedstock) and rate (how fast the sugar fed to the fermentation is converted to isobutanol). We initially achieved our target fermentation performance goals with our research biocatalyst at our GIFT® mini-plant and then replicated this performance in a retrofitted one MGPY ethanol demonstration facility located at ICM’s St. Joseph, Missouri site. We select biocatalysts for their projected performance in the GIFT® process, targeting lower cost isobutanol production. We continue to seek to improve the performance parameters of our biocatalyst with a goal of reducing projected capital and operating costs, increasing operating reliability and increasing the volume of isobutanol production.


Continuous improvement of biocatalyst performance is achieved using a variety of synthetic biology and conventional biotechnology tools to minimize the production of unwanted by-products to improve isobutanol yield and rate, thereby reducing capital and operating costs. With our biocatalysts, we have demonstrated that we can produce isobutanol at commercial scale with rates and yields which we believe validate our biotechnology pathways and efficiencies. Our commercial biocatalyst is designed to produce isobutanol from common commercial fermentation ethanol feedstocks, including grains (e.g., corn, wheat, sorghum and barley), sugar cane, and molasses. This feedstock flexibility supports our initial deployment in the U.S. and is designed to enable our future expansion into international markets for production of isobutanol.


Although development work continues, we have shown at laboratory scale and at our one MGPY demonstration facility located at ICM’s St. Joseph, Missouri facility that we can convert hydrolyzed wood feedstocks into isobutanol. We are further improving biocatalysts to efficiently produce isobutanol from cellulosic feedstocks, including crops that are specifically cultivated to be converted into fuels (e.g., switchgrass), forest residues (e.g., waste wood, pulp and sustainable wood), agricultural residues (e.g., corn stalks, leaves, straw and grasses) and municipal green waste (e.g., grass clippings and yard waste). We carefully select our biocatalyst platforms based on their tolerance to isobutanol and other conditions present during an industrial fermentation process, as well as their known utility in large-scale commercial production processes.


Feedstocks
We have designed our biocatalyst platform to be capable of producing isobutanol from any fuel ethanol feedstock currently in commercial use, which we believe, in conjunction with our proprietary isobutanol separation unit, will permit us to Retrofit any existing fuel ethanol facility. We have demonstrated that our biocatalysts are capable of converting the types of sugars in grains and sugar cane to isobutanol at our commercial targets for fermentation time and yield and we believe that they will have the ability to convert these sugars into isobutanol at a commercial scale. The vast majority of fuel ethanol currently produced in the U.S. is produced from corn feedstock, which is abundant according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Renewable Fuels Association. Although development work continues to be done, we have shown at laboratory scale and at our one MGPY demonstration facility located at ICM’s St. Joseph, Missouri site that we can convert certain cellulosic sugars into isobutanol.


We expect that our feedstock flexibility will allow our technology to be deployed worldwide and will enable us to offer our customers protection from the raw material cost volatility historically associated with petroleum-based products.


In June 2015, Agri-Energy, our wholly-owned subsidiary, entered into a Price Risk Management, Origination and Merchandising Agreement (the “Origination Agreement”) with FCStone Merchant Services, LLC (“FCStone”) and a Grain Bin Lease Agreement with FCStone (the “Lease Agreement”). Pursuant to the Origination Agreement, FCStone will originate and sell to Agri-Energy, and Agri-Energy will purchase from FCStone, the entire volume of corn grain used by our plant in Luverne, Minnesota. The initial term of the Origination Agreement will continue for a period of eighteen months and will automatically renew for additional terms of one year unless Agri-Energy gives notice of non-renewal to FCStone. FCStone will receive an origination fee for purchasing and supplying Agri-Energy with all of the corn used by Agri-Energy’s plant in Luverne, Minnesota. As security for the payment and performance of all indebtedness, liabilities and obligations of Agri-Energy to FCStone, Agri-Energy granted to FCStone a security interest in the corn grain stored in grain storage bins owned and operated by Agri-Energy (“Storage Bins”) and leased to FCStone pursuant to the Lease Agreement. Pursuant to the Lease Agreement, FCStone will lease Storage Bins from Agri-Energy to store the corn grain prior to title of the corn grain transferring to Agri-Energy upon Agri-Energy’s purchase of the corn grain. FCStone agrees to lease Storage Bins sufficient to store 700,000 bushels of corn grain and agrees to pay to Agri-Energy $175,000 per year. The term of the Lease Agreement will run concurrently with the Origination Agreement, and will be extended, terminated, or expire in accordance with the Origination Agreement. The Company also entered into an unsecured guaranty (the “Guaranty”) in favor of FCStone whereby the Company guaranteed the obligations of Agri-Energy to FCStone under the Origination Agreement. The Guaranty shall terminate on the earlier to occur of (i) April 15, 2020 or (ii) termination of the Origination Agreement.

GIFT® Improves Fermentation Performance
Our experiments show that the GIFT® fermentation and recovery system provides enhanced fermentation performance as well as efficient recovery of isobutanol and other alcohols. The GIFT® system enables continuous separation of isobutanol from the fermentation tanks while fermentation is in process. Isobutanol is removed from the fermentation broth using a low temperature distillation to continuously remove the isobutanol as it is formed without the biocatalyst being affected. Since biocatalysts have a low tolerance for high isobutanol concentrations in fermentation, the ability of our process to continuously remove isobutanol as it is produced allows our biocatalyst to continue processing sugar into isobutanol at a high rate without being suppressed by rising levels of isobutanol in the fermenter, reducing the time to complete the fermentation. Using our biocatalysts, we have demonstrated that GIFT® enables isobutanol fermentation times equal to, or less than, those achieved in the current conventional production of ethanol, which allows us to fit our technology into existing ethanol fermenters reducing capital expenditures. We have designed a proprietary engineering package to carry out our isobutanol fermentation and recovery process.


GIFT® requires limited change to existing ethanol production infrastructure. As with ethanol production, feedstock is ground, cooked, treated with enzymes and fermented. Just like ethanol production, after fermentation, a primary product (isobutanol) and a co-product (iDGs™) are recovered for sale. The main modifications of the GIFT® system are replacing the ethanol producing yeast with Gevo’s proprietary isobutanol producing biocatalyst, and adding low temperature distillation equipment for continuous removal and separation of isobutanol.

Conversion of Isobutanol into Hydrocarbons
We have demonstrated conversion of our isobutanol into a wide variety of hydrocarbon products which are currently used to produce plastics, fibers, polyester, rubber and other polymers and hydrocarbon fuels. Hydrocarbon products consist entirely of hydrogen and carbon and are currently derived almost exclusively from petroleum, natural gas and coal. Importantly, isobutanol can be dehydrated to produce butenes, which are an intermediate product in the production of hydrocarbon products with many industrial uses. The straightforward conversion of our isobutanol into butenes is a fundamentally important process that enables isobutanol to be used as a building block chemical. Much of the technology necessary to convert isobutanol into butenes and subsequently into these hydrocarbon products is commonly known and practiced in the chemicals industry today. For example, the dehydration of ethanol to ethylene, which uses a similar process and technology to the dehydration of isobutanol, is practiced commercially today to serve the ethylene market. The dehydration of isobutanol into butenes is not commercially practiced today because isobutanol produced from petroleum is not cost-competitive with other petrochemical processes for generation of butenes. We believe that our efficient fermentation technology for producing isobutanol will promote commercial isobutanol dehydration and provide us with the opportunity to access hydrocarbon markets. To assist in accessing these markets, we have developed a hydrocarbon processing demonstration plant (“Hydrocarbons Demo Plant”) near Houston, Texas, in partnership with South Hampton Resources, Inc. (“South Hampton”). The Hydrocarbon Demo Plant can process approximately 6,000 to 7,000 gallons of our isobutanol per month into a variety of renewable hydrocarbons for use as fuels and chemicals.

Our ETO Technology
We have also developed new technologies using ethanol as a feedstock for the production of hydrocarbons, renewable hydrogen, and other chemical intermediates, which we describe as our ethanol-to-olefins (“ETO”) technologies. The process produces tailored mixes of isobutylene, propylene, hydrogen and acetone, which are valuable as standalone molecules, or as feedstocks to produce other chemical products and longer chain alcohols. This technology has the potential to address additional markets in the chemicals and plastics fields, such as renewable polypropylene for automobiles and packaging and renewable hydrogen for use in chemical and fuel cell markets. At this time, this technology has only been operated at a laboratory scale, but if successfully scaled up to commercial level, this technology may provide the estimated 25BGPY global ethanol industry a broader set of end-product market and margin opportunities.
Underpinning the ETO technology is our development of proprietary mixed metal oxide catalysts that produce either polymer grade propylene, high purity isobutylene or acetone in high yields in a single processing step. One of the benefits of the technology is that we can use conventional fuel grade specification ethanol that can be sourced from a variety of feedstocks with no apparent adverse impact on end product yields. Water, which is co-fed with the ethanol, is able to be recycled resulting in a process which generates minimal waste. The ethanol and water mixture is vaporized and fed across a fixed catalyst bed resulting in a gaseous product mix consisting of the propylene, isobutylene or acetone, in addition to hydrogen and carbon dioxide, along with lesser amounts of methane and ethylene. Separation of gaseous products can be achieved via conventional process technologies and unit operations within the petroleum industry.

   

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