Cobalt Technologies Opens Biobutanol Plant

Cobalt Technologies has opened its first biobutanol production facility. Cobalt uses non-food feedstock, such as forest waste and mill residues, and the company said that its technology reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent compared to gasoline. A 12% blend of Cobalt biobutanol with gasoline, already permissible under US EPA guidelines, complies with the requirements of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

Butanol packs more energy than ethanol and in addition, it is a drop-in fuel, and is fully compatible with today’s automobile engines and pipeline infrastructure. Cobalt says that its biobutanol (n-butanol) is very versatile and can be used as a standalone fuel, blended with gasoline, diesel and ethanol, converted into jet fuel or plastics, or sold as is for use in paints and coatings.

One commercial-scale Cobalt plant employs 1,300 permanent green collar jobs at the plant and surrounding area, and adds more than $250 million annually to the state’s GDP, according to a market study commissioned by Cobalt. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger attended the opening of the facility.

“It is great companies like Cobalt that will help California meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets under AB 32 and our Low Carbon Fuel Standard,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Cobalt shows us that what is good for the environment can also be good for the economy. In fact, within the next few years, Cobalt has plans to build an even larger plant that will create 1,300 permanent jobs. I want that plant and those jobs right here in California. That’s why, in my State of the State address, I announced a Jobs Initiative that we estimate could create 100,000 jobs with one piece of this proposal exempting the purchase of green-tech manufacturing equipment from the sales tax.”

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