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Biobutanol fact sheet

Biobutanol is an advantaged biofuel molecule that has many

benefits over ethanol when blended with gasoline. Biobutanol
is the only drop-in advanced biofuel that will be readily
manufactured through conversion of existing ethanol plants
and has the potential to be produced from advanced feedstocks
like lignocellulosics. BP and DuPont have run a successful
technology and fuel testing programme to demonstrate the
advantages of biobutanol. Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC,
a 50/50 joint venture between the two companies, is taking
this work forward and will bring biobutanol to market.
BP Biofuels a growing alternative

Biobutanol fact sheet

Represents the next significant change
required to meet the growth in demand for
environmentally responsible, renewable fuels
for transportation.

The advantages of Biobutanol

It has an energy content closer to that of
gasoline than ethanol, so consumers face
less of a compromise on fuel economy
and can drive more miles per gallon of fuel.
This is particularly important as the amount
of biofuel in the fuel blend increases.
Today, it can be blended with gasoline
at higher concentrations than ethanol for
use in standard vehicle engines. Currently
European regulations allow biobutanol to
be blended at up to 15% by volume and
US regulations allow 16% by volume.
Biobutanol blended at 16% by volume
provides twice the amount of renewable
energy in every litre of petrol than E10*,
while being compatible with existing
vehicles and retail infrastructure.
It is compatible with existing vehicles and
refuelling infrastructure at significantly
higher levels than ethanol, overcoming the
blendwall and providing a route to fully meet
the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2).
Unlike bioethanol, biobutanol in fuel blends
does not separate in water, enabling a
biobutanol fuel blend to be blended at
refineries and transported by pipeline.
The only drop-in biofuel that can be readily
manufactured by converting existing
ethanol plants. The technology has the
potential to be adapted to use advanced
feedstocks, including lignocellulosics and
can therefore be produced in multiple
regions utilizing local feedstocks.
Biobutanol lowers vapour pressure of the
fuel mix when it is blended with gasoline.
This property enables refiners to capture
value associated with blending higher volumes
of low cost, lighter fuel components without
compromising fuel specifications.

Technology programme
and fuel testing
Since 2003, BP and DuPont have been
engaged in a technology programme to
develop a proprietary process to produce
biobutanol from the fermentation of
sugars. A significant intellectual property
portfolio has been established.
An extensive programme of fuel testing
has been completed on biobutanol to
prove the benefits of the molecule over
alternative biofuel molecules.
Biobutanol has been tested in real vehicles,
on real roads and in all seasons covering
a distance of more than 1.5 million vehicle
road miles. These tests have proved that
biobutanol blended up to 16% volume into
fuels does not impact vehicle performance
and we are testing blends with higher
concentrations. Most recently we trialled
our highest ever biobutanol at 24%, fuelling
some of the vehicles in the official London
2012 Olympic and Paralympic fleet.

Butamax Advanced Biofuels

BP Biofuels and DuPont formed a joint
venture called Butamax Advanced
Biofuels which is commercializing
Butamax is focused on commercializing
in the automotive fuels market, which
represents the most material opportunity
for growth and sustainable value.
Butamax builds on the technology
development programs of BP and DuPont,
which cover all aspects of biobutanol
production and use in the fuels market.
Butamax has deep, broad and proven
capability and has invested heavily to develop
the technology package to deliver biobutanol.

Biobutanol technology
demonstration plant

A commercial fuels trial confirmed the

compatibility of butanol with existing fuel
infrastructure and consumer satisfaction
with the product.

In a separate joint venture, BP Biofuels

and DuPont have constructed a technology
demonstration plant in the UK to accelerate
the commercialization of biobutanol
technology. The demonstration plant is
validating Butamaxs proprietary biobutanol
process technology and generating the data
necessary for commercial scale production.

Environmental benefits

Biobutanols chemical properties mean

it can already be blended with gasoline
at higher concentrations than ethanol,
so more renewable components go into
the end fuel compared with equivalent
oxygen-content ethanol blends. This reduces
greenhouse gas emissions further than is
possible with a conventional ethanol blend.

Agricultural benefits
Biobutanol is produced from the same
fermentable agricultural feedstocks as
bioethanol (i.e. corn, sugarcane, wheat,
and sugar beet).
Biobutanol is good for global farmers as it
enlarges the marketing opportunity for key
agricultural products.
Biobutanol will help expand the biofuels
market as well as the markets for related
agricultural feedstocks by facilitating/
smoothing the introduction of biofuels
into gasoline, either directly as biobutanol
or indirectly through biobutanols synergy
with ethanol.

*10% ethanol blended with gasoline.