Biobased Butanol Info

Next Generation Biofuel


Industrial bioproduct


State of biobutanol -- Study detailing producers, their technology and the market


Biobutanol, an emerging renewable alcohol, is well positioned for substantial future growth. It will be a game changer as: an advanced biofuel - superior to ethanol in almost every way, convertible to jet fuel and biogasoline, a valuable established chemical and solvent, and gateway molecule to a wide range of chemical derivatives. It can be produced at adapted ethanol plants from corn and other grains or sugarcane and from cellulose. There is a huge existing base of capacity for potential adaption. With diminishing government subsidies on conventional fermentation ethanol, producers looking for higher margin derivatives are potential candidates. Waste cellulose, from the wood industry and pulp and paper mills, will be another avenue to biobutanol production. Over a dozen companies around the world have focused on the development and commercialization of low cost biobutanol production technology.

Butanol is a versatile four carbon alcohol, today largely produced by the petrochemicals industry. It has an established history as a chemical and solvent, particularly for use in paints, coatings, printing inks, adhesives, sealants, textiles and plastics. The end use for these products are dispersed throughout the economy. Butanol is used worldwide, with current global demand exceeding 1.2 billion gallons per year and valued at over $6 billion annually. This high valued market will be an early target for lower cost biobutanol. Further, the market will expand significantly as inexpensive biobutanol becomes a gateway to other chemical derivatives.

There are four isomers of butanol, with n-butanol and isobutanol the largest volume in commercial usage. Both isomers are being developed independently in renewable forms to be marketed as biobutanol.

The study, scheduled to be published in the second half of 2012, will analyze: the existing and upcoming producers and their technologies, the established global butanol market in chemicals and solvents, competitiveness of butanol as a gateway chemical and its outlook in transport fuels. The study will have two major components: commercial analysis, and technology and economic assessment.

About the author: The author of this study has published other multiclient studies on ethanol and biobutanol.  We are pleased to promote his study on our website.

Need more details about the upcoming study, please contact us.


" helped me learn about this exciting biobased solvent. I look forward to formulating with it."

- Leonard Shine, USA -