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BP/DuPont biobutanol JV signs first ethanol early adopter

Butamax Advanced Biofuels, the joint venture (JV) between BP and DuPont targeting the production of biobutanol from a variety of feedstocks, recently signed Highwater Ethanol as the first entrant to the Butamax Early Adopters Group. (Earlier post.) Butamax’s business model is to offer current ethanol producers proprietary biobutanol technology to permit improved biofuels growth and plant profitability.

Highwater Ethanol is based in Lamberton, MN. The ICM-designed facility was constructed by Fagen with a nameplate capacity of 50 million gallons per year (mgpy).

We are very pleased to take this important step with Highwater. Highwater’s operational performance is among the best in the industry, making them an excellent biobutanol production partner.

—Paul Beckwith, Butamax CEO

Last November, Butamax announced the addition of a technology laboratory in Paulinia, Brazil to accelerate process development efforts for producing biobutanol from sugarcane. In addition, the Butamax technology demonstration facility in Hull, England is producing biobutanol to support design of commercial facilities.

Biobutanol can be blended at higher concentrations than ethanol, without the need for infrastructure changes. At 16% volume, biobutanol delivers twice the renewable energy content of 10% ethanol blends. It is compatible with current automotive vehicles, retail stations and fuel distribution pipelines. The favorable blending properties of Biobutanol help reduce a refiner’s cost of producing gasoline as well as providing an attractive route to RFS2 compliance, Butamax points out.



Could become a natural replacement for ethanol, if it can be produce for about the same price per energy unit, specially when produced with non-food feed stocks. Being more compatible use existing gasoline, no new infrastructures or modified ICE would be required.

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