Clean, renewable fuel is the key to a strong clean energy economy, energy independence, and national security. OptinolÂ®, our patented bio-butanol mixture, is an advanced biofuel fermented from sugars and starches. It is called Optinol because it is superior to ethanol and is in fact the optimal fuel to blend with or entirely replace gasoline. Optinol is fully compatible with existing transport fleets and infrastructure (e.g. cars, trucks, pipelines, storage tanks, etc.), has virtually the same energy content as gasoline, and can be used in all vehicles designed for use with gasoline or diesel â€“ TODAY â€“ without modification.
A Different Approach
Optinol has taken an alternative approach to butanol production. Instead of genetically modifying the fermenting organism or other host such as yeast or E.coli, the Optinol process uses a patented non-GMO clostridium strain that naturally favors the production of butanol, while producing virtually no acetone or ethanol.
The Optinol team chose to engineer a production solution tailored to the organism rather than trying to tailor the organism to existing production processes. The net result is a high yield and commercially robust process to produce low cost butanol at a price competitive with ethanol.
The Optinol process centers on continuous flow through fermentation of our organism in inexpensive immobilized cell columns. Our continuous flow fermentation columns have been running continually for more than 2 years. The ability to supply optimal sterile feed on a continuous basis reduces the chance of contamination. The longevity of the continuous flow process demonstrates that Optinol is well-adapted to large scale industrial use.
Paired with the continuous fermentation stage is a low cost continuous butanol extraction system. The process leverages fluids that naturally attract the butanol from the fermentation fluid. From there, the end product is separated using low energy distillation. Low cost fermentation combined with a low cost continuous extraction and distillation process provide the basis for a cost-effective and commercially robust production platform.
The process has been tested with a wide variety of feedstocks including sugar cane juice and molasses, corn starch, sweet sorghum juice and molasses, beet molasses and cellulosic sugars. All forms of sugar performed equally well. The bulk of the lab and pilot work has been conducted at Louisiana State University (LSU). Final feasibility studies to be performed center on optimization of the extraction medium with the goal of minimizing water transfer.
Optinol solves many of the problems inherent in ethanol production:
Unlike ethanol, Optinol can be blended into gasoline at any concentration up to 100% without any risk of damaging the vehicle.
Optinol, with 92% of the energy of gasoline, gets virtually the same mileage per tank. Ethanol by comparison has only 73% of the energy as gasoline.
Optinol pushes out the so-called "blend wall" allowing the fermented fuels industry to expand, today, by more than 50%.