Today, Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC, a partnership between BP and DuPont to develop biobutanol, announced the opening of a biobutanol technology laboratory in the city of Paulínia, São Paulo state, Brazil. Butamax CEO Tim Potter joined Ricardo Vellutini, DuPont do Brasil’s President and Vice President of Agricultural Products for Latin America, for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Media were also welcome to tour the facility.
“The new laboratory was built to accelerate the path to commercial market entry for cane-to-biobutanol production,” said Potter.
Butamax believes that sugarcane is the most efficient feedstock for the production of biofuels and the lab will focus on optimizing the cane fermentation process. The company’s technology can be used with a range of feedstocks including starch-based crops such as corn, and in the future, cellulosic feedstocks such as energy grasses. The company also feels that Brazil’s strong economy and existing expertise in the biofuels industry makes it the perfect strategic location for producing biobutanol and adds some diversity to its biofuels mix.
Butamax believes that biobutanol complements the success of the ethanol industry and offers several key advantages including its ability to be blended at higher concentrations than ethanol delivering twice the renewable energy in every liter of gasoline. Another advantage over ethanol is that it can be used in vehicles with no modifications and can be transported via pipelines.
The company believes that its proprietary technology is a game changer and as such, has focused across the biofuel value chain. They have been researching the technology on a global scale in anticipation for their commercial launch.