Biobutanol: An attractive biofuel


  • Peter Dürre Professor

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Mikrobiologie und Biotechnologie, Universität Ulm, Ulm, Germany
    • Institut für Mikrobiologie und Biotechnologie, Universität Ulm, 89069 Ulm, Germany, Fax: +49-731-5022719
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Biofuels are an attractive means to prevent a further increase of carbon dioxide emissions. Currently, gasoline is blended with ethanol at various percentages. However, butanol has several advantages over ethanol, such as higher energy content, lower water absorption, better blending ability, and use in conventional combustion engines without modification. Like ethanol, it can be produced fermentatively or petrochemically. Current crude oil prices render the biotechnological process economic again. The best-studied bacterium to perform a butanol fermentation is Clostridium acetobutylicum. Its genome has been sequenced, and the regulation of solvent formation is under intensive investigation. This opens the possibility to engineer recombinant strains with superior biobutanol-producing ability.