Improved n-Butanol Selectivity for Improved Fuel Transport and Engine Structural Integrity

Tech ID: 30097 / UC Case 2019-155-0

Brief Description

A strategy for more energy dense, lower water soluble n-BuOH resulting in improved fuel transport and engine structural integrity.


In order to create an environmentally sustainable chemical and fuel industry, current chemical processes utilizing renewable feedstocks, like bioethanol, need improvement. Most U.S. gasoline contains ethanol (EtOH), the largest globally produced biofuel, but its high water solubility, corrosiveness and lower energy density cause drawbacks in fuel transport and engine structural integrity. Combining Butanol (n-BuOH), produced from bioethanol, with gasoline eliminates the problems with EtOH. However, established processes for creating n-BuOH results in byproducts less favorable than either EtOH or BuOH.


Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have found that a single exposure of a catalyst based on copper-doped porous metal (Mg/Al) oxides to chloride in the Guerbet condensation of EtOH yields both improved activity and improved selectivity toward n-BuOH formation. The researcher’s adaptations to this reaction generates more energy dense, lower water soluble n-BuOH. Instead of EtOH, n-BuOH combined with gasoline will improve fuel transport and engine structural integrity.


·         Increased selectivity of n-butanol

·         Higher energy density

·         Lower water solubility

·         Valorization of ethanol


·         Biofuels

·         Transportation fuel reduction of greenhouse gases

·         Sustainable energy

·         Green chemicals

·         Guerbet condensation

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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Other Information


indenergy, biofuels, sustainable energy, transportation energy, engine structural integrity

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