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BP-DuPont biobutanol JV opens technology laboratory in Brazil to optimize sugarcane-based process

Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC, the biobutanol joint venture between BP and DuPont (earlier post), has opened a biobutanol technology laboratory in City of Paulínia, São Paulo, Brazil to accelerate the path to commercial market entry for sugarcane-to-biobutanol production.

Sugarcane is an efficient feedstock for the production of biofuels and the laboratory will optimize the cane fermentation process. Brazil’s strong economy and existing strengths in the biofuels market make it a strategically fundamental location for the production of biobutanol, Butamax said.

Butamax says it has developed technology which will enable economic production of biobutanol through existing sugarcane mills. The company has filed a portfolio of patent applications directed to its proprietary technology across the biofuel value chain including biocatalyst, manufacturing process, and fuel applications.

Butamax is conducting biobutanol research across the globe as it prepares for commercial launch. In addition to Brazil, research is being conducted in India, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.

Butamax is poised for commercial launch from 2012/2013.



Whether it is butanol, ethanol, methanol or some other method, reducing oil consumption is a good goal. Energy returned on energy invested, water resources, land usage and other factors all need to be considered. So does the vulnerability of disruption from OPEC actions.

Lots of issues are trade offs based on probabilities and consequences. If we think that there will be no disruption to supplies as demand exceeds supply going forward, then it is business as usual. The converging factors of emerging countries demanding more oil and OPEC restricting supply are significant. This is where we start of make those trade offs.

Sam Bhargava

Brazilian ethanol is known for its price. Ethanol production from cane is more efficient than from other carbohydrate sources.

I am sure that this collaboration will result in low cost biobutanol and better yet another market for Butamax.

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