LANXESS invests in American bio-oil and biochemical companies

Lanxess, the world's largest synthetic rubber producer, has invested in biofuel and biochemical company Gevo, the United States, and plans to cooperate with its use of renewable resources to produce isobutylene. The company is dedicated to finding alternatives to the source of isobutylene, the main raw material needed to produce butyl rubber.
Isobutene is usually produced in steam crackers, using petroleum derivatives as feedstock. Alternatively, Gevo is developing a fermentation process that produces organic compound butanol from fermentable sugar biomass in cereals. Butanol is a base material for the manufacture of biodiesel, biojet fuels, plastics, rubber, and fibers.
Gevo and LANXESS plan to use their technical expertise to produce isobutene by butanol dehydration. Researchers at the LANXESS innovation department and the Butyl Rubber Business Unit are working closely together to optimize the dehydration process, which has been successful in the laboratory.
He Deman, Chairman of LANXESS's Management Board, said: "Under the backdrop of unstable raw material prices and the consolidation of the petrochemical industry, this investment and the proposed cooperation broaden our future supply options. This investment also reinforces our commitment to 'green chemicals'. 'The promise is becoming more and more important to all stakeholders."
LANXESS has invested $10 million in a company based in Denver, Colorado, USA. In exchange, it also acquired a minority stake in Gevo and joined the board of directors, which will be Ron Commander, head of LANXESS' butyl rubber business unit.
Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber said: “We are very pleased with the strategic investment made by LANXESS to Gevo and we are very grateful for their confidence in our butanol platform. We hope this renewable hydrocarbon will give The material is widely used in the chemical market."
Other companies investing in Gevo include Total SA of the French oil and gas group and Virgin Green Fund, the leading investor in the cleantech industry, Richard Branson, founder of the airline. Gevo employs a total of 55 employees and works closely with many of the world's leading institutions, including the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the California Institute of Technology. The company was established in 2005.
LANXESS is the world's second largest manufacturer of butyl rubber, with factories in Sarnia, Canada, and Zwijndrecht, Belgium. In addition, the company is making a record investment of 400 million euros to build a new butyl rubber plant in Singapore, which will be inaugurated in the first quarter of 2013.

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