New Butanol Production

Several big companies, including Gevo and Butamax, have found a way to convert ethanol production facilities into butanol plants. Butanol is an alcohol with an energy density (that is, BTUs per gallon) closer to gasoline, and it’s made in a similar way, using fermentation, and it can be made from the same feedstocks, including corn and switchgrass.

The technology is already developed and there is a ready market — oil companies are willing to blend it with gasoline in higher percentages than ethanol, it doesn’t evaporate as easily, so it can be more easily transported via pipelines, and it doesn’t have a tendency to take up water, as ethanol does. It is a promising renewable fuel.

Read more about it: Corn Ethanol Makers Weigh Switch to Butanol.

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