Bio-butanol is increasingly being seen as perhaps the next big alternative fuel option for powering vehicles. Its advantages over ethanol are significant. Butanol provides nearly as much energy as gasoline and does not decrease miles per gallon numbers as much as ethanol might. Also, bio-butanol does not appear to cause any damage to metals, allowing it to be pumped into vehicles without modifications to the engine. Finally, it appears that bio-butanol costs less and takes less time to refine than ethanol.
That said, ethanol has been the “go-to” alternative for significant reasons. Plant-based ethanol has increasingly grown in popularity in the U.S. as a renewable alternative to traditional gasoline. Given the amounts available, and a slight reduction in gas mileage, and ethanol’s corrosiveness to some metals and rubber, it could damage a car’s engine if used purely in current gasoline engines. Therefore, what we currently see at gas stations is E85, or “flex-fuel”, an ethanol-gasoline blend containing anywhere from 51% to 83% ethanol, depending on geography and season.
As chemists continue to work on new technologies involving bio-butanol, many believe that this man-made butanol has the potential to completely replace traditional gasoline. Scientists are working to address some of the refining challenges associated with butanol, and in the near future, butanol may well emerge as a viable fuel alternative.
Lee Enterprises Consulting (LEC), the world’s largest bioeconomy consulting group, with 150+ independent experts worldwide, has many experts who can help bring butanol projects to the marketplace. We have biobutanol consultants and experts that can assist with emerging technologies and promising developments in butanol and scores of other biotechnologies. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full-service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.