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Posts tagged “biobutanol”

By Robert Rapier on Feb 14, 2011 with 25 responses

Butanol Q&A With Cobalt Technologies CEO Rick Wilson

In the previous story — Butanol 101 — I provided readers some background on the production of butanol, including my own background on working with butanol. This story is about one company’s efforts to commercialize bio-butanol. The interview originated from a press release I was sent a couple of months ago detailing an agreement between Cobalt Technologies (formerly Cobalt Biofuels; and I will get into this name change below) and the U.S. Navy on developing next generation biofuels: Cobalt Technologies and U.S. Navy to Jointly Develop Military Jet Fuel Mountain View, CA – November 03, 2010 – Today, Cobalt Technologies, the leader in commercializing biobutanol as a renewable chemical and fuel, announced the signature of a Cooperative Research and Development… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 9, 2011 with 37 responses

Butanol 101

This story was initially intended to cover a recent interview that I did with Cobalt Technologies CEO Rick Wilson. However, the introduction and background on butanol became long enough that I felt it was a standalone story. The interview with Rick Wilson will follow this story in a few days. I have mentioned before that my first job out of college was with Celanese (at that time Hoechst Celanese). For most of my seven years with Celanese, I was a butanol engineer. I first spent two years developing computer models of the process, doing lab work, and providing engineering support to the Celanese plant in Bay City, Texas. I then transferred to Bay City and spent two years working as… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 13, 2009 with 1 response

I Never Cease to be Amazed

Thanks to a reader for sending me this story: Company trying to turn waste into biofuel Salem businessmen to turn dairy dung into butanol for vehicles Diesel Brewing would burn dairy waste and turn it into butanol. Butanol is mainly used as a solvent, but company officials want to use it as a renewable fuel. If Diesel Brewing succeeds, it likely would be the first company in the world to make butanol with what’s called a gasification process, said Andy Aden, a senior research engineer with the biomass center at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colo. Once the process is proved feasible, Raines and his team hope to build commercial-scale plants that use 100 tons of waste per… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 12, 2007 with no responses

Answering Questions – Part II

OK, I think this finishes off the questions. Thanks to all who asked a question. I think this has been a productive exercise, and I hope you find my answers useful. I may do this again at some point, but for now, I am back to posting and then lurking. The Questions Jeff Sutherland asked: It seems to me that electricity is going to be the key energy source in the future….Biofuels, like ethanol, if produced with electrical equipment seems like a good method to store energy….What do you see as the best option for a transportable form of energy in the future? Answer garsky asked: A couple of posts ago you mentioned some things you were doing to prepare… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 12, 2007 with no responses

The Problem With Biobutanol

The Essay I Didn’t Want to Finish This is an essay that I have been promising for some time. I have had to start it from scratch a couple of times, and I am starting it from scratch again now. I tend to get a lot of e-mail about biobutanol, especially after people read the essay that I wrote on the subject last year: Biobutanol While I wrote about the potential for biobutanol in that essay, I also noted: I need to spend some time going over the patents and linked reports more closely to see if anything suggests a problem that has been glossed over. When I first started this essay, I was going to review the literature and… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 1, 2006 with 3 responses


Butanol Production Process In my previous job, I worked for a major chemical company for seven years. For six of those years, I worked on various processes to produce butanol. This included roles in R&D, process, and production, and I received a patent while working in Germany for devising a novel process for making butanol. Butanol is an alcohol like ethanol, but whereas ethanol has 2 carbon atoms, butanol has 4. The most common industrial process to produce butanol involves a few steps. First, synthesis gas is produced. Synthesis gas is a very important raw material. It is composed of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, and is produced by burning a feed at a high temperature while limiting the oxygen available… Continue»