March 3, 2009

More biobutanol supply coming soon

I mentioned last month about the development of biobutanol in fuel application. Butanol is currently being used as an industrial solvent and most of it is produced via petrochemical processing. According to industry sources, fermented butanol is only currently sparsely being produced in China. Biobutanol has not been commercially applied as a fuel as of yet.

I got interested in biobutanol development when I heard DuPont and BP are working on this for fuel application. Apparently, biobutanol is said to be much better than bioethanol as a fuel because it packs more energy per gallon, it can be transported in existing pipelines, easier to mix with gasoline and can even be used alone in internal combustion engines, and most of all, it can be managed in the existing gasoline distribution network - why is the main challenge for fuel ethanol suppliers.

[Photo of Green Biologics' team at its UK lab]

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