|Contact:||Michelle Reardon||Valerie Corr|
New Data Proves Biobutanol Can Increase the Blending of Biofuels in Gasoline Beyond the Current 10 Percent Limit for Ethanol
HAMBURG, Germany, February 14, 2008 - DuPont and BP have announced that the partnership to develop and commercialize biobutanol is targeting advanced metabolic pathways for 1-butanol as well as other higher octane biobutanol isomers. The companies also announced that testing of these advanced biofuels demonstrates the use of biobutanol can increase the blending of biofuels in gasoline beyond the current 10 percent limit for ethanol without compromising performance.
Speaking at the Agra Informa Next Generation Biofuels conference here, DuPont Biofuels Venture Manager David Anton and BP Biofuels Business Technology Manager Ian Dobson disclosed that the partnership has been developing biocatalysts to produce 1-butanol as well as 2-butanol and iso-butanol – higher octane biobutanol isomers that are of increased interest and utility from a fuels perspective. Fuel testing conducted over the last 12 months by BP demonstrates that high octane biobutanol can deliver the exceptional performance characteristics the partnership has previously communicated (including improved energy density/fuel economy compared to current biofuel blends and use in existing fuels infrastructure) at fuel blends greater than the current 10 percent ethanol blend limit.
“DuPont and BP were the first players in the area of advanced biofuels to announce our intent to not only improve the bio-process to produce commercial volumes of biobutanol, but also to pursue an integrated commercialization strategy that incorporates building pilot and commercial scale facilities, a complete fuel evaluation, and a full environmental life cycle analysis,” Anton said.
Under the partnership, there currently are more than 60 patent applications in the areas of biology, fermentation processing, chemistry and end uses for biobutanol. The program is designed to deliver by 2010 a superior biobutanol manufacturing process with economics equivalent to ethanol. DuPont disclosed that those patents cover the higher octane isomers as well as the previously announced 1-butanol. “We believe this places the BP/DuPont partnership in a strong intellectual property position in the butanol areas of greatest interest,” Anton said.
Ian Dobson shared new BP engine and vehicle testing data that demonstrated high octane biobutanol at concentrations of 16 percent delivers similar fuel performance compared to current 10 percent ethanol blend gasoline fuels which importantly means that butanol can help achieve higher biofuel penetration without compromising fuel performance. BP has completed a testing program of 16 percent high octane butanol covering fuel formulation, short-term engine performance impacts and long-term, no harm and durability vehicle fleet trials.
Laboratory and vehicle assessment of butanol blends greater than 16 percent also have produced favorable test results. The results show that 16 percent high octane butanol blends have the added advantages of vapor pressure behavior and distillation curves comparable to regular gasoline and, unlike 10 percent ethanol, do not phase separate in the presence of water.
DuPont and BP have commissioned a full environmental life cycle analysis of the proposed biobutanol process that will utilize actual manufacturing design models to guide the process design.
“On the basis of the vehicle test results we are now sharing, we believe that high octane butanol offers a way to break through the 10 percent constraint with ethanol in the current vehicle fleet,” Dobson said.
BP is of one of the world's largest energy companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items. It is the largest oil and gas producer in the U.S. and one of the largest refiners. BP also has a global network of around 25,000 service stations.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
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