Chemicals from biobutanol: Technologies and markets

Mark Mascal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


This review provides a technical description of the range of commercial products that can be accessed from n-butanol, with specific emphasis on n-butanol derived from renewable sources (biobutanol). n-Butanol itself and primary derivatives in which the oxygen functionality of the molecule is retained (butyraldehyde and butyric acid) have mainstream applications in the solvent, polymer, fuel oxygenate, and/or specialty chemical markets, while butanol dehydration products (butenes and butadiene) present additional opportunities in the hydrocarbon fuel and synthetic elastomers markets. The volume and value of these markets are noted and specific applications of first- and second-generation n-butanol derivatives are discussed. Selected technologies for the conversion of butenes into other valuable olefins are described and current biobutanol producers and technology providers are identified and profiled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-493
Number of pages11
JournalBiofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Biobutanol
  • Biofuels
  • Butadiene
  • Butenes
  • N-butanol
  • Renewable chemicals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Bioengineering


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