Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
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BLove wrote:...butanol (liquid alcohol-type fuel that floats on water and can therefore be collected without distillation - yes really)
Butanol has a high energy content (110,000 Btu per gallon for butanol vs. 84,000 Btu per gallon for ethanol).
Mark Kelly wrote:Acetylene is normally stored disolved in acetone. The 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica lists one method of manufacturing acetone but there was an early method of industrial biotech that was introduced in 1916 and was used until the 1960s when petroleum got so cheap that the fermentation method could no longer compete economically.
The Clostridium family includes the bacteria that cause tetanus and botulism but there is also Clostridium acetobutylicum otherwise known as the "Weizman organism" after the man who discovered that this bacteria would eat sugar, starch or even cellulose or lignin and excrete acetone, n-butenol and ethanol (in a ratio of 6:3:1) and that this could be done as an industrial process using the physical plant of a distillery.
This was exciting news for the British Admiralty in 1916 because they needed acetone as part of their process of manufacturing cordite.
What could be even more exciting news for the folks in Grantville is that n-Butanol, which was considered a waste product in 1916, can be used as high octane gasoline.
Sadly, n-butanol is not the isobutanol isomer that can be polymerized to produce the impermeable to gas artificial rubber used in tire inner tubes or the "brutal rubber" suit worn when dealing with poison war gases. Isobutanol is also the stuff that can be copolymerized with styrene to make the synthetic rubber that we use in most tires today, however, this ain't it.
Anybody know how feasible it is to change the n-butanol isomer to the isobutyl isomer?
Why has there been little to no effort to promote butanol as an alternate fuel?
Prior to the success of ButylFuel, LLC’s work, production of butanol from corn and other biomass has been stymied by the lack of technology to make it economically viable. The problem has been historically low yields and low concentrations of biobutanol compared to those of bioethanol.
The historical ABE fermentation technology produces a variety of fermentation products. The ABE process uses bacteria to produce Acetone Butanol and Ethanol. This fermentation process yielded a 6:3:1 ratio of Butanol, Acetone and Ethanol.
That is, for each bushel of corn you would garner (1.3) gallons of butanol (0.7) gallons of acetone and (0.13) gallons of ethanol with concentrations of 1-2%.
If you compared ABE yield to that of the yeast ethanol fermentation process, the yeast process yields 2.5 gallons of ethanol from a bushel of corn, with concentrations of 10-15% it becomes very clear why ethanol was chosen as an alternative fuel source over butanol in the 1970's and 80's.
ButylFuel, LLC's patent changes everything. We are now able to produce yields of 2.5 gallons of butanol per bushel of corn.
ButylFuel, LLC's patented discovery and the economics did not exist to pursue Butanol versus Ethanol as a viable alternative to gasoline until now.
What does ButylFuel, LLC bring to the table when it comes to producing butanol?
ButylFuel, LLC has developed and patented technology that overcomes the limitations that have to date complicated and kept the cost of butanol production from corn and other forms of biomass high. BFL is now able to produce 2.5 gallons of butanol from corn with no Acetone or Ethanol, whereas others have not been able to achieve better than 1.3 to 1.9 gallons of Butanol per bushel and still utilize an ABE process. Further, BFL’s technology generates hydrogen which is likely to receive additional attention as an alternative fuel in the future. In fact, taking into account the hydrogen production, BFL can produce 42 % more energy from a bushel of corn than is typically produced by a corn-to-ethanol plant – 25 % of the difference lies with the butanol and 18 % comes from the hydrogen.
What are the economics of the ButylFuel, LLC process?
This will not be known in detail until we complete testing on the B-100 (100 gallons butanol per week) Demonstration model and the B-1,000 pilot plant. However, we can share the results of estimates we developed to established the merits of proceeding with these phases of the work.
Our preliminary cost estimates suggest that we can produce biobutanol from corn for about $1.20 per gallon, not including a credit for the hydrogen produced. This compares with ethanol production costs of about $1.28 per gallon. Taking into account the higher Btu content of butanol, this translates to 105,000 Btu per dollar for butanol and 84,000 Btu per dollar for ethanol with corn at $2.50 per bushel. As a further point of reference, butanol produced from petroleum costs about $1.35 per gallon to manufacture.
The economics of the ButylFuel, LLC process will be even more attractive when waste material is used as feedstock instead of corn and the price to produce a gallon is $0.85 . In such cases the need and cost to grow and prepare the corn for fermentation, by far among the major cost items, are eliminated.
Boris555 wrote:If n-butanol can be made to burn in current IC engines with no modifications, and has the ability to mix with regular gas, then it has a chance.
Cracking out the acetone would be important, though.
Making it with waste silage is even better.
Old school, I like it! Nice find Tanada!The 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica lists one method of manufacturing acetone but there was an early method of industrial biotech that was introduced in 1916 and was used until the 1960s when petroleum got so cheap that the fermentation method could no longer compete economically.
Butanol may be used as a fuel in an internal combustion engine. Because its longer hydrocarbon chain causes it to be fairly non-polar, it is more similar to gasoline than it is to ethanol. Butanol has been demonstrated to work in vehicles designed for use with gasoline without modification. University of California, Berkeley, chemists have engineered bacteria to churn out a gasoline-like biofuel (butanol) at about 10 times the rate of competing microbes, a breakthrough that could soon provide an affordable transportation fuel.
The potential feedstocks are the same as for ethanol: energy crops such as sugar beets, sugar cane, corn grain, wheat and cassava, prospective non-food energy crops such as switchgrass and even guayule in North America, as well as agricultural byproducts such as straw and corn stalks.
The advance is reported in this week's issue of the journal Nature Chemical Biology.
Biobutanol can be produced by fermentation of biomass by the A.B.E. process. The process uses the bacteriumClostridium acetobutylicum, also known as the Weizmann organism.
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