Cobalt Technologies And American Process To Build Cellulosic Biobutanol Refinery

By Chemical Processing Staff

May 26, 2011

Cobalt Technologies and American Process Inc. said they will build the world’s first industrial-scale cellulosic biorefinery to produce biobutanol. 

The companies also agreed to jointly market a GreenPower+ biobutanol solution to biomass power facilities and other customers worldwide.
GreenPower+  biobutanol technology selectively converts part of  a boiler cellulosic biomass feedstock into renewable biobutanol, an industrial chemical widely used in paints and other coatings and a platform for production of renewable jet fuel and other valuable compounds.
Under the agreement, Cobalt Technologies and American Process will integrate Cobalt's continuous fermentation and distillation technology into American Process’s Alpena biorefinery under construction in Alpena, Mich. Slated to begin ethanol production in early 2012 with a switch to biobutanol in mid 2012, the API Alpena biorefinery will produce 470,000 gallons of biobutanol annually, which will be pre-sold to chemical industry partners.

Funded in part by an $18 million U.S. Department of Energy grant and a $4 million grant from the state of Michigan, the API Alpena biorefinery will demonstrate the conversion of  hemicelluloses extracted from woody biomass, to fermentable sugars that can be used for production of ethanol, the companies said. Meanwhile, Cobalt says its technology will demonstrate that these sugars can also produce butanol.
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