Butamax Advanced biofuels LLC, a joint venture between BP and Dupont, announced that it has entered into collaboration with Fagen Inc. for the introduction of commercial biobutanol production using Butamax technology.
Message Posted: Apr 20, 2012 8:52:15 PM
I do believe that butanol is a 4 carbon alcohol. Many of the properties are similar to ethanol, but butanol does have similar energy to gasoline.
Butanol up until now has not been able to compete with ethanol as it cost a little more to produce it. As I recall butanol is toxic so the toxicity kills off the yeast culture which puts butanol at a disadvantage during fermentation. However, Dupont and BP have been working on this technology for several years and it appears that they may be ready for a break through.
From what I understand biobutanol can be made of the same feedstocks as ethanol. So in the event that butanol does catch on, it would not really be that difficult for ethanol plants to retrofit to produce butanol.
The toxicity issue has its pluses and minuses. SInce it is toxic, I doubt seriously if it would require a denaturing element which means that gasoline could be eliminated totally in the blend.
Butamax was the first company to identify the opportunities and technology for cost-effective production of isobutanol through advanced biotechnology. The company announced last December the formation of the Early Adopters Group (EAG), a consortium of world-class biofuel production companies interested in becoming early adopters of Butamax biobutanol technology. In addition, piloting work continues at the Butamax Technology Demonstration facility as the company prepares for market entry with commercial production in 2014.
Keep your eye on this story, as it appears that Butamax is on the verge of breaking loose.