Energy | February 14, 2008 |
Butanol Touted as Ethanol Alternative
While ethanol is on everyone's lips as an alternative fuel, butanol may soon become the buzz word. Butanol like ethanol is an alcohol that can be derived from biomass including corn and wood waste. The advantages are that it is less corrosive and more energy dense than ethanol, and it also doesn't separate in the presence of water.
Per Science Daily:
Butanol is considered to be a better biofuel than ethanol because it's less corrosive and has a higher caloric value, giving it a higher energy value. Like ethanol, butanol is being considered as an additive to gasoline.
Dupont and BP are teaming up in developing the process for converting cellulose to butanol fuel, and have jointly filed 60 patents. The companies say that their fuel can be used in a 16 percent mix with gasoline without having to make changes to a vehicle. The companies are planning on building pilot processing plants and commercializing the technology.
I'm not sure how easy it would be to convert all of those ethanol plants that are being build to butanol should this formula for using biomass be superior.