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A new lignin source for high-value products

Lignin structure
Lignin structure

NARA is optimizing a conversion process that converts the carbohydrates in woody biomass into bio-jet fuel and other chemical products. Depending on the tree species, up to 60% of the dry weight of wood is carbohydrates. That leaves the remaining 40% of the woody biomass as a byproduct. In order to maximize the economic sustainability of a wood-to-biofuel industry, converting …more

Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet renewable biofuel powers Alaska Airlines flight

photo credit John Schneider
photo credit John Schneider

On June 7th, Alaska Airlines fueled two commercial flights using a 20% blend of Gevo’s renewable biojet fuel made from sustainable U.S. corn. These flights represent the first commercial flights fueled with biojet fuel made using Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet technology.

Read the news release here. A video is available here.

Earlier this year, …more

Production of Lignocellulosic Isobutanol by Fermentation and Conversion to Biojet

A recent webinar titled “Production of Lignocellulosic Isobutanol by Fermentation and Conversion to Biojet was provided by Gevo representatives Andrew Hawkins and Glenn Johnston. This webinar is part of the NARA webinar series.

Gevo has developed fermentation and process technology to convert biomass sugars to isobutanol and further into renewable jet fuel through chemical processing. As a key member of the NARA project, Gevo has developed GIFT®, Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology, to produce isobutanol at high productivity, titer, …more

NARA member receives approval for bio-jet fuel

The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) congratulates our fuels partner, Gevo, Inc. for ASTM International’s inclusion of Gevo’s alcohol to jet (ATJ) synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) into ASTM D7566 (Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons). This inclusion makes Gevo’s ATJ-SPK eligible to be used as a blending component, up to 30%, in standard Jet A-1 fuel used by commercial airlines in the United States and in many other countries around the globe.

As previously announced, …more

Sugar yields from two feedstock sources

Pretreated FS-10 post-harvest forest residuals. NARA image.
Pretreated FS-10 post-harvest forest residuals. NARA image.

Pretreatment is the process that breaks up major wood components (lignin and polysaccharides like hemicelluloses and cellulose) so that enzymes can degrade (hydrolyze) the polysaccharides into simple sugars. Effective pretreatment and hydrolysis are necessary to achieve high sugar quality and yield. The sugars derived from the pretreatment/hydrolysis process can …more

Lignin to plastic opportunities

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Under the conditions evaluated by NARA to convert post-harvest forest residuals into biojet fuel, approximately two-thirds of the woody material is left over as a byproduct. This left over material is rich in lignin, a complex polymer molecule found in plant cell walls.

The USDA-NIFA, through the NARA grant, funds research to develop high-value chemicals and materials that can be made from the lignin-rich material left after the …more

Slash removal and microbial communities

Monitoring equipment at the NARA long-term soil productivity site.
Monitoring equipment at the NARA long-term soil productivity site.

A key issue attached to the use of post-harvest forest residuals (slash) to make biojet fuel and other chemical products is how slash removal impacts the productivity and ecology of a working forest. The USDA-NIFA, through the NARA project, funds research to evaluate the impacts of …more

Extractives found in post-harvest forest residuals


When it comes to evaluating an industry that uses post-harvest forest residuals (slash) to make bio-jet fuel and co-products, the primary components in softwoods, like Douglas-fir, receiving the most industrial interest are cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. The cellulose and hemicellulose contain the simple sugars used to biofuel and other chemical products. The lignin is a byproduct of the fuel conversion process and can be used to make additional products …more