Together with Protista, Perstorp BioProducts is developing a process for producing butanol from biological raw material. Already in 2009 the process will be ready - Lars Lind hopes – because it comes with many advantages for Perstorp.
Named after a bright star – Stella - the project is bound to succeed.
– Our partner Protista has the microbiological competence, says Lars Lind, COO Perstorp BioProducts. They know how to make the bacteria thrive. We have competence about process development, and how to commercialize the product.
Perstorp produces 90 000 tonnes of butanol every year. It is one of our largest products, used for example in paint, so to be able to produce it from biological raw material would be an advantage as crude oil will become scarce and more expensive.
In addition to that, biobutanol can be used as a transportation fuel. Low blended into regular gasoline, it is actually better than ethanol.
- Firstly you can blend in more without modifying the cars. Secondly biobutanol contains more energy than ethanol, and thirdly, it is not as explosive, Lars Lind explains.
Used as a low blending component major volumes are needed.
– In the short perspective grain or sugar will be used as feedstock. In the longer perspective we are hoping to be able to use cellulose and waste, Lars Lind says.
Important learning project
Lars Lind considers Stella to be a valuable learning project for Perstorp.
- Using microbiology in chemical processes is new to us. If we learn how to handle bacteria, immobilize them and let them do the process, we can also use them to convert raw material in more advanced products in the future. Bioreactors open up many possibilities, Lars Lind explains.
So, what is the vision? If the process is ready by 2009, when will production start?
– If everything goes really well, we are hoping to have production up and running by 2012. That is our vision, Lars Lind concludes.