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Closing In on Butanol for Biofuel

Closing In on Butanol for Biofuel

boostingbuta

At the ARS Bioenergy Research Unit in Peoria, Illinois, chemical engineer Nasib Qureshi observes and controls a fermentor in which butanol is produced from corn stover and recovered simultaneously with a vacuum.

Butanol is the go-to industrial solvent for products such as lacquers and enamels, but it might also play a substantial role in the production of renewable fuels. Gallon for gallon, it has 30 percent more energy than ethanol and only around 4 percent less energy than a gallon of petroleum-based gasoline.

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