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Renewable Motor Fuels by Arthur M. Brownstein

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Chapter 5

Isobutanol

Isobutanol is worth more to refiners than ethanol because it has 26% more energy. Unlike ethanol that is 100% miscible with water, isobutanol has limited solubility, and among other advantages, it doesn’t cause stress cracking in pipelines. Also, its lower oxygen content enables greater amounts to be blended into gasoline. It overcomes the blend wall limitations of ethanol by producing a similar grade of gasoline at only 2.7% oxygen content for refiners. It qualifies as an Advanced Biofuel under the Reformulated Fuel Standard. It can be produced with genetically modified microorganisms by the ABE process. Most attractively, it can be produced in existing cornstarch ethanol fermentation plants. This offers a considerable savings ...

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