A joint venture between BP and chemical firm DuPont has bought a new ethanol business in the US.
Butamax Advanced Fuels hopes the acquisition of Nesika Energy and its manufacturing site will advance the commercialisation of bio-isobutanol, which it plans to start producing alongside the ethanol already being made at the facility.
Bio-isobutanol is a cost effective and renewable alternative to isobutanol, a fuel derived from fossil feedstock.
Butamax says it will be valuable in increasing the renewable content of vehicle gasoline and can provide a lower carbon alternative to fossil derived isobutanol in a range of existing chemical applications.
As a fuel, it can be blended with gasoline in higher concentrations than ethanol without compromising compatibility or performance.
Dev Sanyal, BP’s Chief Executive of Alternative Energy, said: “We invest in renewables where we believe we can build commercially viable businesses at scale and this project, which brings together BP’s and DuPont’s complementary expertise, is another important step in that direction.”
Shell has also opened a new technology centre in India which will research and develop biofuels.
NASA has stated biofuels can reduce jet engine pollution by as much as 70%.