Novel Efficient Butanol Production without CO2 Emission

Chemicals and fuels from renewable resources have gained global interest due to environmental issues, climate change, oil price and supply volatility, and decreasing nonrenewable fossil fuel sources. Butanol is a biofuel alternative that can provide a higher heating value, lower volatility, polarity, corrosivity, and heat of vaporization, and easily replace diesel fuel without engine modifications.

The Need

Traditionally, butanol is produced through petrochemical processes, limiting its use in the chemical industry due to its high production price and harmful environmental effects. More recently, fermentation has been investigated to improve production and decrease costs. However, these methods have been limited by yield, slow fermentation rates, and price. Therefore, new approaches are needed to increase the production of butanol to fully exploit its potential as an alternative fuel.

The Technology

This technology describes the development of a microbial consortium that produces butanol via a lactic acid bacterium, acetogen, and a solventogenic clostridia using lignocellulose sugars and CO2. The process enables the generation of butanol while eliminating harmful CO2 byproducts. Thus far, the inventors have developed the process and showed in laboratory experiments the ability to produce a 50% higher butanol yield than conventional acetone-butanol-ethanol fermentation without CO2 as a byproduct.

Commercial Applications

This technology can produce butanol for many industries, including chemicals and solvents, fuel for automobiles/trucks, and energy production.


Compared to existing butanol production methods, this technology produces 50% more butanol from sugar than industry standard methods while using less energy. As a result, the cost for production is about 50% less and does not release harmful CO2 into the atmosphere.


  • PCT/US2023/026619 Filed

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