Cobalt Technologies

We are helping farmers, fuel producers, and everyday drivers answer the toughest questions about renewable fuels. To learn how, visit each section of our website.

BIOBUTANOL — Versatile Chemical Serving Large Markets

Cobalt Technologies manufactures drop-in bio-based chemicals at a significantly lower cost than petroleum-derived chemicals. Cobalt extracts fermentable sugars from biomass and converts them directly into bio n-butanol. Unlike corn and sugar ethanol, the Cobalt value chain is totally decoupled from price volatility associated with the food chain. Cobalt has developed its own process for extracting sugars from biomass for the production of next generation biobutanol. Cobalt has focused on feedstocks with existing value chains, and is prepared to capitalize on novel cellulosic sugar extraction technologies as they become commercially available.

N-butanol is a standard ingredient in coatings, paints, adhesives, sealants, inks and other solvent products. The petroleum based n-butanol market currently exceeds $5 billion per year. At three million tonnes per year, the n-butanol chemical market is six times the size of the isobutanol chemical market and is forecast to grow at an annual rate of approximately 4%, or 120,000 metric tonnes, per year.

Cobalt's butanol production costs are 30%-60% less than the cost of petroleum based butanol. Cobalt’s low production costs enable the use of bio n-butanol as a platform molecule for a broad range of chemicals and fuels, including 1-butene, butadiene, lube oil, poly-alpha-olefins, propylene and jet fuel, that are not served by petroleum-based butanol because of its high cost of production. These products expand Cobalt’s addressable market to over $425 billion.

Cobalt’s cost advantage is based on its use of low cost feedstock, advanced non-GMO biocatalyst, low-cost biomass pretreatment process, accelerated fermentation system and energy-efficient distillation process. Cobalt’s proprietary biocatalyst converts all sugars in cellulosic biomass to bio n-butanol, including the five-carbon sugars that most other fermentation technologies cannot use. This enables the use of diverse, low-cost feedstock, such as sugar cane bagasse. The Company’s proprietary pretreatment process extracts C5 sugars from biomass without the use of costly enzymes or sugar purification steps.