next-generation biofuels – butanol

This article discusses Elcriton, a Delaware Biotechnology institute, is developing a new generation of biofuels, namely butanol. Compared to ethanol, butanol has many advantages. For example, it is less corrosive than ethanol so it can be transported using current gasoline pipelines while ethanol can’t. Unlike ethanol, it does not absorb water, which allows less maintenance. Another advantage of butanol is that it can be used in essentially all car engine technologies, even as pure butanol.

Due to the above advantage, Elcriton is trying to develop a kind of bacterium that will directly convert biomass into butanol.  This is exciting but also challenging, in that there might be not that enough right biomass for the production of butanol. Just like t he paper we have read earlier this week, the conversion of biomass into ethanol is really limited. Will that be a problem with butanol as well?

Posted by Jianchao Wang

Original article: Elcriton works to create next-generation biofuels

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