February 14, 2013

Abengoa enters biobased n-butanol

I just wanted to post this briefly about Abengoa engaging in technology development for the production of n-butanol using bio-based ethanol. The company's bioenergy business has been very active in developing commercial market for cellulosic ethanol, and its 25.5m gal/year Kansas biorefinery plant is expected to start production in the fourth quarter this year.

Abengoa said production of biobased n-butanol will allow the company to access chemical markets it has not yet operated in.

Abengoa's catalytic conversion technology, which the company said has not been developed at industrial scale, will involve catalytic condensation of ethanol to produce butanol through the Guerbet reaction. In this process, Abengoa said it has developed and patented a catalyst that allows attainment of a conversion and a selectivity of ethanol to butanol that enables cost-competitive manufacture of biobutanol.

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