On Monday, August 26, 2013, Gevo, Inc., the world’s only commercial producer of bio-isobutanol, held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its demonstration-scale paraxylene plant in Silsbee, Texas. BIO’s own CEO Jim Greenwood attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and had this to say:
“Industrial biotechnology companies such as Gevo show the true scope and reach of American innovation and ingenuity. After you visit these companies, after you see how entrepreneurs like Gevo CEO Pat Gruber and his team are strengthening and revitalizing American manufacturing, it’s hard not to be bullish about the future of industrial biotech and of our country.
“Gevo’s new biorefinery is showing us the role that industrial biotech can play in a renaissance in America’s chemical industry. It is showing us how American companies can compete and capture more of our share of the $2.4 trillion global clean energy market and the $3.7 trillion global chemicals market.”
Working with The Coca-Cola Company, Gevo was able to deliver a new production technology for renewable paraxylene, which acts as foundation for producing fully renewable PET. Renewable PET can later be converted into beverage bottles for Coca-Cola.
Additionally, Gevo is working with Toray Industries, Inc. to develop renewable paraxylene which also serves as a building block for fully renewable polyester for packaging films and fibers used in textiles, clothing and other applications. Toray will purchase paraxylene from Gevo and will convert it into PET fibers, textiles and films for scale-up evaluation and market development purposes.
To illustrate the importance of this new technology and express the need for congressional support of the industrial sciences, BIO and Gevo, Inc. invited Representative Steve Stockman (R-Texas) to speak at the ceremony. Representative Stockman and Representative Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) are two of the original cosponsors to recently introduced bill H.R. 3084, the Qualifying Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Act of 2013. This legislation will essentially reduce taxes for U.S. producers of renewable chemicals, helping them to commercialize homegrown technology and build new biorefineries, such as the Silsbee plant, in the United States.
Representative Stockman delivered his support to the industry, by adding, “I’m proud to sponsor this effort to reduce the tax burden on innovators and job creators and create a level playing field for employers. These are the kinds of jobs that can rejuvenate rural America and keep jobs at home.”
BIO recently sent out a press release thanking Congressman Stockman as well as his cosponsors for introducing H.R. 3084, the Qualifying Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Act of 2013. BIO hopes that future development of plants, like the Gevo, Inc. facility in Silsbee, will continue to garner bipartisan interest in the area of industrial sciences.
To watch a video of James C. Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)’s speech at the Gevo, Inc. ribbon cutting ceremony, click here.
Additionally, to learn more about Gevo and its new plant in Silsbee, TX, find here their press release.