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Interesting info on 1-butanol, alternative to gasoline/ethanol

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:40 PM
Original message
Interesting info on 1-butanol, alternative to gasoline/ethanol
http://butanol.com /
Butanol is presently manufactured from petroleum. Historically (early 1900s 1950s) biobutanol was manufactured from corn and molasses in a fermentation process that also produced acetone and ethanol and was know as an ABE (acetone, butanol, ethanol) fermentation. However, as demand for butanol increased, production by fermentation declined mainly because the price of petroleum dropped below that of sugar when the USA lost its low-cost supply from Cuba around 1954. EEI has developed and patented a process which makes fermentation derived butanol more economically viable and competitive with current petrochemical processes. (History of Butanol-1, 2, 3 )
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July 14 to August 15, 2005 was the first run across the Nation on 100% Butanol. Demonstrating to the public that there is an alcohol made from corn that replaces gas right now if we had it. The sooner we start making BioButanol the sooner you will see it in your tank, go down the road - and stop Global Warming. The 92 Buick Park Avenue got 24 miles per gallon on butanol with no modifications - normally gas is 22 mpg. That is a 9 % increase. In ten states Butanol reduced Hydrocarbons by 95%, Carbon monoxide to 0.01%, Oxides of Nitrogen by 37%, this in a 13 year old car with 60,000 original miles. It runs great up hill and across the deserts. Let's make more.
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Butanol is used primarily as an industrial solvent. The worldwide market is about 350 million gallons per year with the U.S. market accounting for about 220 million gallons per year. Butanol currently sells for about $3.70 per gallon in bulk (barge) and $6.80 in 55 gallon drums.
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Butanol has many superior properties as an alternative fuel when compared to ethanol. These include:

Higher energy content (110,000 Btus per gallon for butanol vs. 84,000 Btu per gallon for ethanol). Gasoline contains about 115,000 Btus per gallon.
Butanol is six times less evaporative than ethanol and 13.5 times less evaporative than gasoline, making it safer to use as an oxygenate in Arizona, California and other states, thereby eliminating the need for very special blends during the summer and winter months.
Butanol can be shipped through existing fuel pipelines where ethanol must be transported via rail, barge or truck
Butanol can be used as a replacement for gasoline gallon for gallon e.g. 100%, or any other percentage. Ethanol can only be used as an additive to gasoline up to about 85% and then only after significant modifications to the engine. Worldwide 10% ethanol blends predominate.
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Gasoline is $2.09 per gallon retail, so how does that make butanol
...competative at $6.80 per gallon?
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. The retail price of gasoline is manipulated. n/t
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. "about $3.70 per gallon in bulk" -- bulk prices always lower.
And not that long ago gasoline was up over $3/gallon. Considering gasoline benefits from huge economy of scale, while production of butanol has been sharply curtailed since its peak, that's within striking distance. One more war in the ME and butanol will be cheaper without any improvements.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
2.  Butanol is six times less evaporative than...
And up here in the Northen states when it gets down to -30 in the winter? It will be like trying to run on Crisco.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. No such thing as "six TIMES less". I think you probably mean
"one sixth as evaporative as".

Another one of my pet peeves - using a multiplication term to describe a fraction. Mathematically incomprehensible.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I was just quoting the article
:hi:
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. So sad, how journalists appear to all have flunked math and never
studied geometry or logic at all.

That sort of error is one of my biggest pet peeves. Seriously.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
4. Ah yes, the latest energy savior du jour.
Anything that will permit us to go on with our energy wasting ways and driving our cars and trucks everywhere. Any fuel made from corn is a loser because corn is a prima donna crop. It requires a lot of energy, a lot of petroleum based fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and last, but not least, water--that most precious commodity. I wonder what the next latest and greatest and painless energy salvation will be?
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Scan the article -- ABE process once used starch from chestnuts, can be
run on almost any source of carbohydrates, including agricultural waste. Corn, or any particular crop, is not at all a requirement.

Even if we drastically cut our consumption of fuel, we STILL need to switch over to carbon-neutral energy sources in place of petroleum. So while I agree that conservation needs to be the major focus of any energy plan, we cannot ignore the need to explore alternative fuels IN ADDITION to cutting consumption. It's not either/or, it's do both, or ruin the planet.
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