USA: Bio-Isobutanol Production Butamax Starts Detailed Engineering for Newly Acquired Bio-Isbutanol Facility
Butamax Advanced Biofuels, a 50/50 joint venture between BP and DuPont, announced the acquisition of Nesika Energy and its ethanol facility in Scandia, Kansas.
Scandia/USA — Butamax will now start the detailed engineering work to add bio-isobutanol capacity to the facility, while continuing to produce ethanol before and after adding this capacity.
Bio-isobutanol can be blended with gasoline in higher concentrations than ethanol without compromising compatibility or performance. It blends do not suffer from the water solubility issues of ethanol, which means they can be transported via existing fuel pipelines. In the chemicals industry, it is used both directly and as an important building-block for a wider range of products.
The Joint Venture plans to license its proprietary bio-isobutanol technology beyond this first facility on a global scale. When the newly acquired facility in Kansas has bio-isobutanol production capability, it will be used as a demonstration facility for potential licensees to see the technology in operation and serve as a proving ground for future developments.
Butamax Advanced Biofuels was formed to develop and commercialize bio-isobutanol as a next generation renewable biofuel and chemical.
Dev Sanyal, BP’s chief executive of alternative energy, said, “With the largest operated renewables business among the major oil companies, BP is committed to being a part of the global transition to a lower-carbon future. We invest in renewables where we believe we can build commercially viable businesses at scale, and this project, which brings together BP’s and DuPont’s complementary expertise, is another important step in that direction.”
“To drive growth in U.S. manufacturing, we must employ disruptive thinking and innovation to unlock the power of renewable raw materials,” said William F. Feehery, president, DuPont Industrial Biosciences. “With the purchase and planned build-out of the Nesika facility to include bio-isobutanol production, Butamax is taking the next step forward in advancing the bioeconomy, which supports economic growth and opportunity in rural communities.”
“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of the Nesika site and would like to welcome Nesika and its employees to Butamax,” said Stuart Thomas, Butamax CEO. “The Nesika facility will serve to demonstrate our technology at scale as well as validate process and biocatalyst improvements. Our plan is to broadly license our technology, and Nesika and the technology deployed at the site will play a key role in that activity.”
It is estimated that the bioeconomy today contributes $ 393 billion into the United States each year and supports 4.22 million jobs, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.