Bio-based chemicals firm Cobalt Technologies and specialty
chemical company Rhodia, member of the Solvay Group, said
Wednesday that they will soon develop and build a bio-butanol
demonstration facility in Brazil.
The announcement is another step by the two companies toward
the construction of commercial-scale
bio-refineries using Cobalt's technology to convert Brazilian
bagasse and other local non-food feedstock into bio n-butanol in
Latin America, officials said.
Butanol is widely used as an industrial chemical found in
paints, adhesives, inks, and other solvents.
This agreement puts us on a clear path towards
commercialization, which will result in the development of the
first commercial-scale biorefinery using bagasse as a feedstock for the production of
biobutanol, said Bob Mayer, CEO of Cobalt .
We are very pleased to be working with Rhodia. Our
corporate values and goals are aligned and Rhodia's experience
in the global chemical markets and long history of success in
Latin America position us well for success.
Under the deal, Cobalt and Rhodia will build and operate a
biobutanol demonstration plant. 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 bio-sourced solvents," said Vincent Kamel, president
of Rhodia Coatis business unit.
We look forward to our continued partnership, working
closely with Cobalt to capitalize on the massive market
opportunity for bio n-butanol in Latin American and
Over the past nine months, the two companies explored
options for integrating Cobalt's technology into existing sugar
mills, they said.
The feasibility phase confirmed the scalability and
attractive economics of Cobalt's biomass processing and
advanced fermentation technology, according to company
officials, as well as its viability to work with Brazil's local