In the United States (US), Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), a global leader in nutrition and agricultural origination and processing, and Gevo, Inc., (Gevo), a pioneer in transforming renewable energy into low carbon, energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons, have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and other low carbon-footprint hydrocarbon fuels.
The MoU contemplates the production of both ethanol and isobutanol that would then be transformed into renewable low carbon-footprint hydrocarbons, including SAF, using Gevo’s processing technology and capabilities.
About 900 million (US) gallons (≈ 3.4 billion litres) of ethanol produced at ADM’s dry mills in Columbus, Nebraska (NB), and Cedar Rapids, Iowa (IA), as well as its Decatur, Illinois (IL) complex, is expected to be processed utilizing this technology, resulting in approximately 500 million gallons (≈ 1.89 billion litres) of SAF and other renewable hydrocarbons.
The potential conversion of 900 million gallons (≈ 3.4 billion litres) of ethanol – more than half of our production capacity – to serve a growing demand for sustainable aviation fuel would represent a major step in the continued evolution of our Carbohydrate Solutions business to focus increasingly on new, high-growth opportunities, said Juan Luciano, Chairman and CEO of ADM.
The isobutanol is expected to be produced at a proposed new facility in Decatur that would employ ADM’s carbon capture and sequestration capabilities.
Carbohydrate Solutions is unlocking new value and meeting customer needs through the growth of our BioSolutions platform, with agreements like our LG Chem MoU; sustainable solutions supported by our carbon capture capabilities, like our net-zero carbon milling footprint in the US; and the completion of our dry mill review, with the sale of our Peoria facility and this exciting collaboration with Gevo. Equally important, we’re continuing to live our purpose, with our entry into SAF representing another step in our strategic efforts to advance decarbonization and use our integrated value chain to deliver more sustainable, environmentally friendly products and services, Juan Luciano said.
Demand for SAF is expected to increase as major US airlines, airports, shippers and the US government have agreed to work together to advance the use of cleaner sustainable fuels. The US and the EU have set goals that together would support almost 4 billion gallons (≈ 15.14 billion litres)of annual SAF production in 2030, and more than 45 billion (≈ 170.325 billion litres) by 2050.
Our potential customer contract pipeline has grown to over 1 billion gallons (3.785 billion litres). By working with ADM, which already has committed to reducing its carbon footprint, we have the opportunity to accelerate scale. The technology to convert low carbon ethanol and isobutanol into SAF by Gevo is well developed and ready for world scale-commercialization. We look forward to working with ADM in the pursuit of Net-Zero fuels, said Dr Patrick R. Gruber, CEO, Gevo.
The companies intend to work together to determine full commercialization plans and enter into definitive agreements enabling a timeline such that production of SAF can begin in the 2025-2026 timeframe.