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Butanol Manufacture Technology Description

Online Butanol Data: Manufacture, Uses and Applications

Intratec Chemical Process Library is the first free online encyclopedia of chemical process technologies. Our Library covers not only processes description themselves, but also the economics surrounding chemicals production, providing real-world knowledge on the production of several chemical commodities. Click here to check all chemicals covered.

In this page you will find free data about Butanol, including:

  • What is Butanol
  • How to make Butanol
  • Butanol uses and applications

This page presents brief synopsis of Butanol production technology, describing, in a concise way, relevant technical and economic aspects. Each manufacturing process description will consist of:

  • Major process steps
  • Simplified, schematic flow diagram & key equipment
  • Important safety or environmental considerations
  • Economic perspective, comprising capital expenditures and/or operating expenses

All content from Intratec's Chemical Process Library was produced based on reports published by Intratec. To learn more about Butanol production processes presented below and others examined in Intratec reports, click here.

n-Butanol Manufacture from Lignocellulosic Feedstock

The alcohol n-butanol is applied in the production of butyl acrylates to supply the coatings and adhesives industries. It is also used in plasticizers or directly as a solvent. It is commercially produced from propylene and synthesis gas (syngas) by chemical synthesis.

Due to the increasing interest in biofuels development, the production of n-butanol through a fermentation process is being revisited and improved. Biobutanol is an attractive renewable fuel that can be produced from the fermentation of sugars derived from agricultural feedstock — for example, corn and sugarcane — or from waste lignocellulosic materials, such as corn stover and sugarcane bagasse.

In this field, bio-butanol is viewed as an alternative to ethanol, since it fits the existing fuel infrastructure better and exhibits higher energy content, which makes it a more suitable gasoline blending fuel.

Technology Description

The production process for n-butanol from corn stover via acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation is depicted in the flowsheet. The feed handling, pretreatment and fermentation steps were compiled from a technical report published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colo.; www.nrel.gov; NREL/TP-5100-47764, May 2011) and adapted for n-butanol production. The purification step was based on typical ABE fermentation processes.

Feed Handling

Corn-stover supply trucks send the biomass to weighting and unloading stations, followed by a short-term queuing storage and conveyors for feeding the feedstock to the pretreatment area.

Pretreatment

The biomass, composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, is treated with dilute sulfuric acid and heated in a screw-feed reactor to convert most of the hemicellulose into fermentable sugar, such as xylose. After pretreatment, the solution is flash-cooled, and water is removed, condensed and sent to the wastewater-treatment area. The mixture is then diluted with water and its pH adjusted by adding ammonia.

United States n-Butanol Demand

Hydrolysis and Fermentation

In this step, cellulose is converted to fermentable glucose using ...

Purification

The fermentation beer is separated into acetone, ethanol and n-butanol products by ...

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