Biobutanol boost

Scientists in the Academy of Finland's Sustainable Energy (SusEn) research program have successfully converted waste from the food and paper pulp industry into a biobutanol a potentially useful fuel compound. "Butanol is a very energy-efficient alternative and, like ethanol, lends itself well for industrial-scale production," explains Ulla Lassi of the University of Oulu, who hopes to develop biobutanol as a transport fuel. The fermentation process can take in waste streams from a variety of industries and generate the energy-dense compound as a potentially sustainable alternative to bioethanol generated from crops grown for the purpose.