A Look at DuPont Biofuel’s Work on Cellulosic Ethanol and Butanol
by Robert Rapier (Consumer Energy Report) …DuPont is currently engaged in two major projects to commercialize advanced biofuels.
The first is a 30 million gallon per year corn stover-fed facility in Nevada, Iowa. DuPont has been working on this technology for about 10 years. They focused on corn stover because it is one of the easiest feedstocks to process, and because it is already there as a byproduct of ethanol production. DuPont broke ground on this facility on November 30, 2012 and start-up is planned for mid-2014. The facility has about 100 farmers under contract to provide 360,000 tons per year of corn stover (dry mass basis) for DuPont’s enzymatic process.
The stover will be gathered in a 30 to 40 mile radius around the facility.
…The second project is a joint venture with BP called Butamax Advanced Biofuels. This project will also utilize corn stover and a mild caustic pretreatment process to produce iso-butanol (i-BuOH) from genetically modified organisms. The process will utilize both 5 and 6-carbon sugars, and the yield of i-BuOH is expected to be around 75 gallons per ton.
…One item of particular interest to me is the approval process for allowing a new fuel to be blended into the system. Mr. Koninckx stated that they are currently going through the EPA regulatory approval process for 16% butanol, which has the same oxygen content as 10% ethanol. Moving to 24% butanol will require additional approval steps. They were expecting approval to be imminent, and did not expect any significant issues that would interfere with their commercialization plans. READ MORE and MORE (Consumer Energy Reports)