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Butanol
Butanol Prices | Historical and Current
Butanol
Butanol
Butanol
C4H10O

About Butanol. Butanol (a.k.a. Butyl Alcohol, BuOH, Bio-Butanol) encompasses the aliphatic saturated C4 alcohols of empirical formula C4H10O. Among five structurally isomeric alcohols, 1-Butanol (or n-Butanol) and isobutanol (2-methyl-1-propanol) are the most commercially relevant, being used in a wide range of applications. Actually, it is worth noting that 1-butanol production plants also can be used for the manufacture of 2-methyl-1-propanol. Normal butanol is found naturally as a fermentation product of carbohydrates, as well as a crude oil derivative. The alcohol is a colorless liquid with a vinous odor, highly soluble in water, and present in a variety of foods and beverages, one of its main uses. It is also used extensively as an industrial intermediate in many processes.

n-Butanol was first industrially produced back in 1912, from carbohydrates fermentation. Since then, in light of the growing demand for that alcohol, several manufacturing processes have been developed, including aldolization of acetaldehyde followed by hydrogenation, propylene carbonylation (Reppe synthesis), and, most importantly, hydrogenation of n-butyraldehyde derived from propylene hydroformylation. When produced from renewable sources, Butanol may be referred to as Bio-Butanol or Green Butanol.

Butanol Handling. n-Butanol is a liquid at room temperature, and it is very flammable (flash point at 36 °C) in both liquid and vapor forms, so it should be transported and stored away from heat sources in tightly closed containers. Untreated mild steel or enameled steel drums and stainless steel containers can be used for Butanol storage, provided moisture ingress is prevented. Storage under dry nitrogen is also used to limit flammability hazards. Its storage should also be in well-ventilated areas. Butanol is transported in rail and road tank cars, drums, tanker vessels, and containers.

Butanol Production. Butanol is primarily produced from n-butyraldehyde, obtained in turn from the hydroformylation (Oxo reaction) of propylene. This chemical is also produced as coproduct in the Fischer Tropsch synthesis of methanol. In developing countries, there is considerable Butanol production from fermentation of molasses or corn products. Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of Butanol are listed below.

  • Propylene (hydroformylation/Oxo process, followed by hydrogenation of the butyraldehyde intermediate, catalyzed by a compound of cobalt, zinc and rhodium),
  • Molasses (such as corn) (fermentation, with acetone and ethanol as coproducts),
  • Propylene + carbon monoxide + water (Reppe reaction)

Butanol Uses.The uses and applications of Butanol may vary according to its specification. Typically, pure Butanol is commercialized, with a 99% minimum purity.

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Prices

Butanol Prices | Historical and Current

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Monitor monthly Butanol price assessments covering 6 locations: United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, China, Middle East and Africa. Also check Butanol price history since 2007.

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Data Legend. The chart above shows Butanol price assessments in USA Dollar per metric ton (USD/mt) in 6 locations, as follows:

  • Butanol, US (United States): Butanol, export transaction price, fob, United States
  • Butanol, EUR (Europe): Butanol, export transaction price, fob, Belgium
  • Butanol, SEA (Southeast Asia): Butanol, import transaction price, cfr, Singapore
  • Butanol, CN (China): Butanol, domestic spot price, exw, China
  • Butanol, MDE (Middle East): Butanol, export spot price (formula), fob, Saudi Arabia
  • Butanol, AFR (Africa): Butanol, export transaction price, fob, South Africa

Data Use. Butanol prices are provided as an annual subscription where subscribers have access to reliable pricing data of 225 commodities worldwide. To better understand data provided by Intratec Primary Commodity Prices, check the following documents: Price Assessment Basis , Commodities Specifications , Methodology , User Guide , and Glossary .

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Butanol Price Outlook. The price of Butanol (United States) decreased during April 2019 to 972 USD per metric ton, which represents a slight decline of 4% compared to the previous month’s value. On a year-over-year basis, the prices of Butanol (United States) increased significantly by 8%. Meanwhile, the average price of Butanol (China) amounted to 860 USD per metric ton, from 923 USD per metric ton one year earlier. On a month-over-month basis, the price of Butanol (China) is 2% lower than the price one month before.

The price of Butanol (Southeast Asia) declined considerably throughout April 2019, reaching 696 USD per metric ton.  The price is 7% lower than the average price in the previous month and 17% lower than the average price one year before. In contrast, the prices of Butanol (Middle East) decreased significantly during April 2019, reaching 969 USD per metric ton, which means a decline of 8% from the previous month’s price and a decline of 3% from the previous year’s price. 

The prices of Butanol (Africa) experienced a significant decline of 54 USD per metric ton from the prior month's price, to 657 USD per metric ton. Such price movement meant a decrease of 8% on a monthly basis and a decrease of 18% on a yearly basis. On the other hand, in April 2019, the price of Butanol (Europe) witnessed a decline of 106 USD per metric ton when compared against the previous month's price, to 994 USD per metric ton. The April 2019 price is 0.2% higher than the price one year before. 

About Butanol. Butanol (a.k.a. Butyl Alcohol, BuOH, Bio-Butanol) encompasses the aliphatic saturated C4 alcohols of empirical formula C4H10O. Among five structurally isomeric alcohols, 1-Butanol (or n-Butanol) and isobutanol (2-methyl-1-propanol) are the most commercially relevant, being used in a wide range of applications. Actually, it is worth noting that 1-butanol production plants also can be used for the manufacture of 2-methyl-1-propanol. Normal butanol is found naturally as a fermentation product of carbohydrates, as well as a crude oil derivative. The alcohol is a colorless liquid with a vinous odor, highly soluble in water, and present in a variety of foods and beverages, one of its main uses. It is also used extensively as an industrial intermediate in many processes.

n-Butanol was first industrially produced back in 1912, from carbohydrates fermentation. Since then, in light of the growing demand for that alcohol, several manufacturing processes have been developed, including aldolization of acetaldehyde followed by hydrogenation, propylene carbonylation (Reppe synthesis), and, most importantly, hydrogenation of n-butyraldehyde derived from propylene hydroformylation. When produced from renewable sources, Butanol may be referred to as Bio-Butanol or Green Butanol.

Butanol Handling. n-Butanol is a liquid at room temperature, and it is very flammable (flash point at 36 °C) in both liquid and vapor forms, so it should be transported and stored away from heat sources in tightly closed containers. Untreated mild steel or enameled steel drums and stainless steel containers can be used for Butanol storage, provided moisture ingress is prevented. Storage under dry nitrogen is also used to limit flammability hazards. Its storage should also be in well-ventilated areas. Butanol is transported in rail and road tank cars, drums, tanker vessels, and containers.

Butanol Production. Butanol is primarily produced from n-butyraldehyde, obtained in turn from the hydroformylation (Oxo reaction) of propylene. This chemical is also produced as coproduct in the Fischer Tropsch synthesis of methanol. In developing countries, there is considerable Butanol production from fermentation of molasses or corn products. Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of Butanol are listed below.

  • Propylene (hydroformylation/Oxo process, followed by hydrogenation of the butyraldehyde intermediate, catalyzed by a compound of cobalt, zinc and rhodium),
  • Molasses (such as corn) (fermentation, with acetone and ethanol as coproducts),
  • Propylene + carbon monoxide + water (Reppe reaction)

Butanol Uses.The uses and applications of Butanol may vary according to its specification. Typically, pure Butanol is commercialized, with a 99% minimum purity.

Intratec Methodology. Intratec Primary Commodity Prices are produced from a data-driven, mathematical approach, which starts with the extraction of data from various primary sources, including official trade records, futures market, statistics bureaus, governmental and international agencies. Such large volume of data is validated through advanced data processing techniques, and treated by means of statistical analysis for outliers removal. When faced with input gaps, data scientists and engineers employ mathematical models or machine learning techniques to estimate prices and ensure the completeness of the price assessments presented. (learn more ).

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