A DuPont (NYSE: DD) executive says his company's cellulosic technology delivers more energy output for energy input than conventional grain ethanol... or even gasoline.
Speaking as one of the keynote speakers at the World Biofuels Markets, DuPont Biofuels Vice President & General Manager John Ranieri provided an update on the company's initiatives to deliver technologies to produce biofuels.
DuPont has a three-part biofuels strategy that includes:
- Discovering new technologies to make advanced biofuels, such as biobutanol
- Developing technologies to convert agricultural feedstocks and energy crops into biofuels
- Improving the yield of grain ethanol production through by increasing yield per acre of energy crops
Biobutanol Partnership with BP and Advanced Biofuels Pipeline: DuPont's partnership with BP to develop biobutanol is based on its strategy to bring advanced biofuels to market to expand the use of biofuels in gasoline. Biobutanol will be the first advanced performance product available from this partnership. It resolves fuel stability issues in that biobutanol-gasoline blends can potentially be distributed via the existing fuel supply infrastructure; it improves blend flexibility allowing higher biofuels blends with gasoline; it improves fuel efficiency (better miles per gallon) compared to incumbent biofuels; and, it enhances ethanol-gasoline blends by lowering the vapor pressure when co-blended with these fuels. Biobutanol is targeted for introduction later this year in the United Kingdom. Additional global capacity will be introduced as market conditions dictate.
Technology to Produce Cellulosic Biofuels: DuPont and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are jointly funding a research program to develop technology to convert non-food agricultural feedstocks into ethanol. This program is focused on corn stover - the leaves, stalks and cobs that are left in the field after harvest. The technology was licensed to Broin, the largest dry- grind ethanol producer in the United States. Last week, the DOE awarded up to $80 million in funding to Broin Companies to accelerate the construction of a commercial-scale bio-refinery at Broin's Emmetsburg, Iowa, facility. Ranieri outlined how the energy ratio - energy delivered to a customer divided by the energy used to create cellulosic biofuels -is greater than both the energy ratio for grain ethanol and gasoline.
Improve Existing Ethanol Production: Through its subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, the first part of DuPont's strategy is increasing yield per acre and enhancing ethanol yield of corn grain through biotechnology, enhanced and traditional breeding techniques, and ethanol yield prediction analysis of its corn hybrids.
Thanks to tip from inside greentech