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Isobutanol gaining more popularity with US plants

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More US fuel plants are potentially considering retrofits to be able to produce isobutanol biofuel on-site.

Technology provider Butamax Advanced Biofuels has signed up four ethanol plants for potential retrofits, bringing the total of what it is calling ‘the early adopters group’ to seven interested parties overall. The latest plants are Granite Falls Energy, Platinum Ethanol, Little Sioux Corn Processors and Siouxland Ethanol.

‘Biobutanol is an exciting next step in the evolution of biofuels,’ says Platinum Ethanol owner Ron Fagen. ‘It presents a significant opportunity for companies such as ours to produce and market a higher-value product and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.’

Butamax said it will break ground on at least one plant next year and have it completed in 2014. A deal has been struck with engineering and construction company Fagen to assist with any conversions.

Isobutanol is an alcohol produce of either corn, wheat or sugarcane and can be used to make car fuel, chemical products and potentially jet fuel.