Rhodia Cobalt build biobased butanol plant in Latin America

Rhodia and Cobalt to build biobased butanol plant in Latin America

11:54 AM, 2nd August 2012
Rhodia and Cobalt to build biobased butanol plant in Latin America

MOUNTAIN VIEW, US/SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Rhodia, member of the Solvay Group and Cobalt Technologies will begin joint development and operation of a biobutanol demonstration facility in Brazil. This is a step towards construction of commercial-scale biorefineries using Cobalt’s technology to convert Brazilian bagasse and other local non-food feedstock into bio n-butanol in Latin America.

“This agreement puts us on a clear path towards commercialization, which will result in development of the first commercial-scale biorefinery using bagasse as a feedstock for production of biobutanol,” said Bob Mayer, CEO, Cobalt Technologies.

Rhodia and Cobalt will build and operate a biobutanol demonstration plant, which will validate Cobalt’s technology and its ability to seamlessly integrate with existing sugar mills in Brazil. Work will begin in August 2012 and will move to a mill site in early 2013 for integration testing. Operational testing at the demonstration plant is expected to be completed by Mid-2013.

“We are convinced that Cobalt’s technology will provide an unmatched cost advantage over the long term, while also enhancing our sustainable development strategy related to our Augeo range of biosourced solvents. With Cobalt we will look to capitalize on the massive market opportunity for bio n-butanol in Latin American and beyond,” said Vincent Kamel, President, Rhodia Coatis Business Unit.

Over the past nine months, the two companies explored options for integrating Cobalt’s technology into existing sugar mills. This feasibility phase confirmed scalability and attractive economics of Cobalt’s biomass processing and advanced fermentation technology, as well as its viability to work with Brazil’s local biomass.

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