Energy Quest to pursue production of Butanol
Energy Quest, Inc. (EQI)announced the completion of its company restructuring.
Plans are to begin immediate production of electrical power generation, hydrogen and butanol from feed stocks such as wood waste, trash, cow manure and low-cost abundant lignite coal.
EQI plans to employ gasification and catalytic conversion processes to produce clean fuels.
Energy Quest plans to concentrate on the production of Butanol from carbon-based feedstocks such as lignite coal, along with other syngas derived products.
Butanol is a 4-carbon alcohol that is presently made through a fermentation process in the same manner as ethanol using mostly grains and corn. Unlike ethanol, you can fill your car - old, new, whatever - with a tank-full of butanol and it will run without modifications, as far as you go on a tank of regular unleaded. In short, it’s an ideal gasoline replacement.
EQI’s PyStr™ and catalytic process can produce butanol or hydrogen from lignite coal or petroleum coke as well as other feedstocks. However, unlike other processes, their technology produces this higher alcohol synthectically from gasification syngas and not fermentation, which is energy intensive.
EQI’s process gasifies any of these carbon sources to syngas which in simpler terms is a mix of hydrogen + CO and CO2 gas. This gas is then introduced to a converter, which is typically a catalyst bed vessel specifically designed to yield liquid butanol. This specific catalyst creates a gas-to-liquid reaction, which recombines specific molecules. It is important to note that if butanol is created, then a specific catalyst must be used. The catalyst varies depending upon the end product desired.
The BTU content of butanol is common knowledge to everyone familiar with the fuel. It contains about 92% of the content of gasoline but gets slightly better gas mileage because it burns more efficiently, very cleanly, producing no NOX, SOX or carbon monoxide and produces more engine torque. It is also safer to handle than either gasoline or ethanol.
Butanol can also be shipped via existing gas pipelines, which ethanol cannot. Bio-diesel from algae is a promising diesel alternative fuel, but two thirds of the motor fuel used in North America is gasoline, not diesel. Butanol can be mixed with diesel because bio-diesel has some undesirable cold flow characteristics which make its use problematical in cold climates without additives such as butanol or the addition of fuel heaters.