Under the partnership, there currently are more than 60 patent applications in the areas of biology, fermentation processing, chemistry and end uses for biobutanol. The program is designed to deliver by 2010 a superior biobutanol manufacturing process with economics equivalent to ethanol. DuPont disclosed that those patents cover the higher octane isomers as well as the previously announced 1-butanol. “We believe this places the BP/DuPont partnership in a strong intellectual property position in the butanol areas of greatest interest,” Anton said.
Ian Dobson shared new BP engine and vehicle testing data that demonstrated high octane biobutanol at concentrations of 16 percent delivers similar fuel performance compared to current 10 percent ethanol blend gasoline fuels which importantly means that butanol can help achieve higher biofuel penetration without compromising fuel performance. BP has completed a testing program of 16 percent high octane butanol covering fuel formulation, short-term engine performance impacts and long-term, no harm and durability vehicle fleet trials.
Laboratory and vehicle assessment of butanol blends greater than 16 percent also have produced favorable test results. The results show that 16 percent high octane butanol blends have the added advantages of vapor pressure behavior and distillation curves comparable to regular gasoline and, unlike 10 percent ethanol, do not phase separate in the presence of water.
BP and DuPont have been working on butanol for some time and have a fact sheet that explains some of butanol's advantages.
Fact Sheet (PDF)