Cobalt, Rhodia Ink Joint Development Deal for Biobutanol Demonstration Plant in Brazil
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) In California, Cobalt Technologies and Rhodia announced they will begin joint development and operation of a biobutanol demonstration facility in Brazil. The Cobalt/Rhodia plant will utilize sugarcane bagasse to make n-butanol; bagasse is used at sugar mills to provide process energy to drive the mill and to supply power to the local grid; the Cobalt project will utilize that fraction of the bagasse that generates power for the grid, or any residual biomass that is burned as waste. Work will begin in August 2012 and will move to a mill site in early 2013 for integration testing. Operational testing at the demonstration plant is expected to be completed by Mid-2013. The exact production capacity of the plant was not disclosed.
…(Cobalt CEO Bob) Mayer said that the n-butanol market is substantially larger than isobutanol, $5 billion annually and growing; he noted that n-butanol not as well suited for gasoline replacement, where isobutanol is a good drop in for that market, but noted that there are numerous downstream products that can be made from n-butanol. Mayer pointed to Cobalt’s work with the Navy on making jet fuel and diesel, where he indicated that “n butanol has advantages for high performance jet fuels and offers a better starting point for diesel.” READ MORE and MORE (Cobalt)