Settlement clears the way for isobutanol development

Great news on the ethanol-alternative front this week as a multi-year legal battle has been settled.

Gevo and Butamax agreed Monday to cross-license their technologies for producing isobutanol (also known as biobutanol). Isobutanol is a corn-based fuel that has been championed by the marine industry and others as a better alternative to ethanol.

In June, the National Marine Manufacturers Association endorsed Gevo’s fuel for marine applications.

(You can read more here about the industry’s testing on isobutanol in this article from July.)

The two companies have been involved in lawsuits since 2011, which has slowed their ability to develop the technology. From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

At one point, [Gevo CEO Pat] Gruber said, more than 10 lawsuits were underway. He said litigation accounted for 30 percent to 40 percent of Gevo’s monthly cash burn, and even more during trials, although the exact figure hasn’t been disclosed.

Now that the legal expenses have ended, “it is the equivalent of putting money on our balance sheet that we can use for other things,” Gruber said.

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