Ethanol has dominated the biofuel industry’s attention over the past few years. But synthetic-biology companies are now scaling up production of what some say is a superior fuel: butanol, an alcohol with four carbon atoms to ethanol’s two. Compared to ethanol, butanol stores more energy per litre, is less corrosive to pipelines, is more easily separated from water and can be blended into gasoline (petrol) at higher concentrations before vehicle engines are damaged.
Tags: paints, solvents, resin, synthetic biology
Nature News Blog, 2012-05-25.