Interest in butanol as a biofuel has now revived, as it can be used as a direct gasoline substitute in unmodified internal combustion engines. Butanol is far less corrosive than ethanol and can be shipped and distributed through existing pipelines and filling stations. Butanol solves the safety problems associated with the infrastructure of the hydrogen supply. Reformed butanol has four more hydrogen atoms than ethanol, resulting in a higher energy output and is used as a fuel cell fuel. Butanol is an industrial commodity, with a 370 million gallons per year market with a selling price of $3.75 per gallon.
- Butanol is a pure alcohol with an energy content similar to that of gasoline.
- It does not have to be stored in high pressure vessels like natural gas, and can be but does not have to be blended (10 to 100 percent) with any fossil fuel.
- Butanol can be transported through existing pipelines for distribution.
- Butanol can help solve the hydrogen distribution infrastructure problems faced with fuel cell development.
- can be blended with petrodiesel and with vegetable oils (where it also reduces the gel temperature point and the viscosity) to produce biodiesel. Consequently, butanol is a very versatile fuel and fuel extender in both gasoline and diesel engines.