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The UK demonstration plant commissions in Q3, and is designed to help us prove out the integrated technology. Butamax will enter the US market and be commercially viable in late 2012 and early 2013, and at commercial scale. “Our focus will be ethanol plants retrofitted to biobutanol , and the sales of licenses to other plants that can retrofit to biobutanol. We are also looking at entering Brazil on a commercially viable basis in 2013. Our focus there will be exports to strategic markets, including US and Europe. If you think about ethanol as an equivalent, currently that’s restricted by the current gasoline specs to a 10 percent blend for non flex-fuel engines. In that fuel spec, butanol can be blended at 16 percent right now.
Cobalt Technologies announced that it has become the first company to produce biobutanol from beetle-killed lodgepole pine feedstock. “If we use only half of the 2.3 million acres currently affected in Colorado alone, we could produce over two billion gallons of biobutanol,” said CEO Rick Wilson. Cobalt converts non-food feedstock, such as forest waste and mill residues, into n-butanol, a versatile product that can be used as a drop-in biofuel; converted into jet fuel or plastics, or sold as is for use in paints, cleaners, adhesives and flavorings.
In Colorado, Lanxess, the world’s largest producer of synthetic rubber, announced that it has invested $10 million in Gevo and will receive a board seat, as part of a proposed cooperation to produce isobutene from renewable resources. The companies aim to find an alternative route to source isobutene – a key raw material needed in the manufacturing of butyl rubber. Isobutene is conventionally produced in steam crackers, which use petroleum derivatives as a feedstock. Gevo is developing a fermentation process to produce the organic compound isobutanol from the fermentable sugars in biomass, starting with corn. Isobutanol is a fundamental building block for making biodiesel, bio jet fuel as well as plastics, rubber and fibers.
Green Biologics announces the completion of new $7.20 million investment round to fund its biobutanol commercialization plan.Green Biologics intends to focus on the retrofit of ethanol plants as well as providing fermentation and process technology solutions for existing and new build biobutanol plants in China, India, Brazil and the US. The technology is based on advanced microbes together with novel butanol fermentation and high efficiency separation processes. GBL recently expanded its business in China, where it is working with two biobutanol producers to provide step change improvements in their process economics.
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Category: News Analysis