Biobutanol to play a major role in biofuels says Green Biologics

07 May 2010 17:52  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Biobutanol-based fuels are on course to play a major role in the fast-growing $50bn annual world biofuels market, industrial biotech company Green Biologics said on Friday.

The market, growing at around 7.5% a year, should in the not too distant future see highly cost-competitive supplies of the fuels made possible by improved fermentation processes, it added.

Green Biologics, a company based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, has trademarked its “next generation biofuel” Butafuel, based on biobutanol fermented using genetically-engineered microbial strains.

Other companies working on producing such a biofuel include DuPont, which is developing a biobutanol for biofuels process with BP.

Biobutanol can be made from biomass feedstock including corn, molasses, straw, bagasse, algae and waste, making it very cost-competitive, Green Biologics said. Biobutanol made with older processes is priced at more than $1,000/tonne but the price of biobutanol produced with advanced fermentation could be as low as $490/tonne by 2014, it added.

The company also said that it hoped shortly to make headway in competing against petrochemical-based butanol in a global market for the chemical worth $4.3bn a year and growing at a rate of 3% annually.

It might achieve this by securing technology “retrofits“ of four-year-old butanol-by-fermentation plants in China which had been closed at the end of 2008 because of high feedstock costs and low product market prices. The plants‘combined capacities could be 300,000 tonnes/year, the company said.

($1 = €0.79)

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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