Butanol – A Versatile Renewable

Is butanol a versatile renewable? Despite the common myth, biomass upgrading is a challenging science. Not only do the practitioners have to break down the complex biomass mixtures efficiently, but they must also contend with numerous other equally (and often times more) important considerations such as low oil prices (per barrel), process safety, waste streams,…

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New Bio Plastics and Resins

New BIo Plastics and Resins? Sales of biopolymers and resins are predicted to grow to over $5 billion by 2021.   Biomass derived materials have been used neat and as components in composites and blends for the last decade. Products made with high contents of cellulose, starch, proteins, chitosan are common. New products made with biosynthetic…

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Isobutanol: A New Product from Revamped Ethanol Plants

Isobutanol: A New Product from Revamped Ethanol Plants? (The following article was written in 2016.  Since the publication date BP and DuPont joint venture, Butamax, has started to produce Isobutanol from the Nesika Energy, LLC  ethanol plant in Kansas.  At 500,000 gallons per year the plant adds to the renewable butanol production from Gevo (rated…

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What to do About Algae?

(Note:  This is was written in 2016 and may contain information that is now out of date). In thinking about algae, I am reminded of my visit some years ago to a platinum mine in South Africa. About a mile underground at the end of the maze of tunnels at the ‘minefront’ they excavate about…

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Isobutanol: Now on the Radar for USA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened a comment period for the registration of the use of Isobutanol in gasoline.  Why is this important?  Because since the states banning of the use of MTBE and other ethers in underground tanks, this is the only oxygenate, other than ethanol, allowed to be used in commerce.  This…

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Isobutanol Expert

What does an isobutanol expert or energy consultant do? Isobutanol is a colorless, flammable liquid has a variety of technical and industrial applications.  It has historically been used mainly as a solvent in such things as paint solvent, varnish remover, or a chemical extractant in production of organic compounds.  Isobutanol is also being used as…

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Bio Ethanol

What is Bio Ethanol?  Bio Ethanol (bioethanol, ethanol, alcohol) are all used to describe the chemical ethyl alcohol with the formula C2H6O.  Ethanol, as it is most commonly known, can be produced by fermentation of sugars (most commonly glucose with the formula C6H12O) by yeast yielding a ratio of approximately 51% ethanol and 49% carbon…

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Sustainable Consumer Products

The world continues to migrate toward sustainable consumer products. The World Bank showed that more than 50% of global GDP is driven by household consumer expenditure for both essential and discretionary goods. (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.CON.PETC.ZS).  It follows therefore that consumer purchasing and disposal decisions have a significant impact on the global economy. Such decisions can impact the…

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