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Luverne Plant Update - Fourth Quarter Isobutanol Production Milestone Achieved Under Side-by-Side

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gevo, Inc. (Nasdaq:GEVO), the world's only commercial producer of renewable isobutanol, today reported an update on the progress of the Side-by-Side operational mode (SBS) of its plant in Luverne, MN.

In June 2014, Gevo commenced the co-production of isobutanol and ethanol at Luverne, with one fermenter dedicated to isobutanol production and three fermenters dedicated to ethanol production. Gevo had articulated a goal of reaching isobutanol production levels of 50-100 thousand gallons per month by the end of 2014. In the month of December, Gevo produced over 50 thousand gallons of isobutanol, meeting the Company's stated goal.

Other key highlights since the last plant update provided in Gevo's third quarter earnings release include:

  • Implementation of a second-generation yeast isobutanol biocatalyst at Luverne that significantly improves plant operability.
    • Increased the isobutanol fermentation rate by approximately 20% versus the best performing batch using the first-generation yeast.
    • Can produce in operating conditions that enable further mitigation of potential infections, as well as the improved management of the iDGs animal feed co-product.
    • This second-generation yeast platform, which is a product of a new yeast modification capability developed by Gevo, speeds up the development and implementation of new traits in Gevo's yeast through high-speed combinatorial techniques.
  • NAPA Myers Auto Parts began selling off-road fuel developed by Gulf Racing Fuels containing blends of up to 16% of Gevo's renewable isobutanol in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Minnesota for use in boats, ATVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles.

"We are very pleased to have achieved our milestone of producing over 50 thousand gallons of isobutanol in a month, while continuing the co-production of ethanol. Since announcing in March 2014 that we would be switching Luverne over to SBS, we have consistently met our operational targets. I would like to thank the entire Gevo team for all of their hard work in continuing to prove out isobutanol production at a commercial scale. We are also extremely excited to have implemented our new yeast biocatalyst at Luverne. We believe that this yeast platform will enable even greater progress of our commercial isobutanol production," said Dr. Patrick Gruber, Gevo's CEO.

"The anticipated benefits of switching Luverne to SBS have borne out. Producing alcohol in all four fermenters improves the operating environment for the optimization of our isobutanol production by creating a continuous and stable mash flow and a more consistent recycle of water through the plant. SBS has also dramatically improved the cash flow profile of the plant. In fact, we estimate that the plant operated at roughly an EBITDA breakeven level in November. Overall, we believe that we have made tremendous progress in proving out our isobutanol technology for potential licensees," Gruber added.

"We are also very encouraged by the enthusiasm of the market to adopt Gulf Racing Fuels' gasoline blends with Gevo's renewable isobutanol for marine and off-road applications. These are ideal markets to demonstrate isobutanol's beneficial properties and set the stage for entry into the larger on-road market," he said.

About Gevo

Gevo is a leading renewable technology, chemical products, and next generation biofuels company. Gevo's underlying technology uses a combination of synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering to focus primarily on the production and sale of isobutanol, as well as related products from renewable feedstocks. Gevo's strategy is to commercialize biobased alternatives to petroleum-based products to allow for the optimization of fermentation facilities' assets, with the ultimate goal of maximizing cash flows from the operation of those assets. Gevo produces isobutanol, ethanol and high-value animal feed at its first fermentation plant in Luverne, MN. Gevo has also developed technology to produce hydrocarbon products from renewable alcohols. Gevo currently operates its first biorefinery in Silsbee, TX, in collaboration with South Hampton Resources Inc., to produce renewable jet fuel, octane, and ingredients for plastics like polyester. Gevo has a marquee list of partners including The Coca-Cola Company, Toray Industries Inc., Total SA and LANXESS, Inc., an affiliate of LANXESS Corporation, among others. Gevo is committed to a sustainable bio-based economy that meets society's needs for plentiful food and clean air and water. For more information, visit www.gevo.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements that are not purely statements of historical fact, and can sometimes be identified by our use of terms such as "intend," "expect," "plan," "estimate," "future," "strive" and similar words. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Gevo and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although the company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Gevo in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Gevo for the year ended December 31, 2013, as amended, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Gevo.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Robin Peak Gevo, Inc. T: (720) 267-8632 rpeak@gevo.com Investor Contact: Mike Willis Gevo, Inc. T: (720) 267-8636 mwillis@gevo.com

Source:Gevo, Inc.