DuPont and BP Speak About Biofuels and Biobutanol at Auto Industry Event
New fuel testing results shared today by DuPont and BP indicate that biobutanol has proven to perform similarly to unleaded gasoline on key parameters, based on ongoing laboratory-based engine testing and limited fleet testing.
At the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) annual conference here, BP Biofuels program manager Frank Gerry and DuPont Biofuels venture manager David Anton told automotive industry value chain participants about the opportunities for biofuels to provide sustainable mobility solutions. They also addressed the science behind biobutanol, an advanced biofuel being jointly developed by BP and DuPont.
In 2006, the companies announced their joint strategy to deliver advanced biofuels that help meet increasing global demand for renewable transportation fuels, leveraging DuPont’s advanced biotechnology capabilities and BP’s fuel marketing and technology expertise. The first product targeted for introduction will be biobutanol.
“Biobutanol addresses market demand for fuels that can be produced from domestic renewable resources in high volume and at reasonable cost; fuels that can be used in existing vehicles and existing infrastructure; fuels that offer good value to consumers; and fuels that meet the evolving demands of vehicles,” Gerry said.
Gerry spoke about results of tests that confirm biobutanol is a desirable fuel component. According to Gerry, biobutanol formulations that meet key characteristics of a “good” fuel include high energy density, controlled volatility, sufficient octane and low levels of impurities. He described early phase testing data that indicate that biobutanol fuel blends at a nominal 10 volume percent level perform very similarly to unleaded gasoline fuel. Additionally, the energy density of biobutanol is closer to unleaded gasoline:
Bioethanol = 21.1-21.7 MJ/L (megajoules per liter)
Biobutanol = 26.9-27.0 MJ/L
Gasoline = 32.2-32.9 MJ/L
Fuel testing also has proven that biobutanol does not phase separate in the presence of water, and has no negative impact on elastomer swelling.
Anton spoke about DuPont’s development of the new biobutanol technology. “Over 100 DuPont scientists and engineers are committed to making advanced biofuels and new energy-efficient biofuels processes a reality,” he said. “Our researchers are working with BP scientists and are on track to deliver a higher yielding biobutanol technology.” Anton outlined DuPont’s three-pronged biofuels strategy which includes biobutanol, cellulosic fuels and seed/crop protection solutions.
BP is one of the world’s largest energy companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items. It is the largest oil and gas producer in the United States and one of the largest refiners. BP also has a global network of around 25,000 service stations.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries and regions, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
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