It’s hard to determine which one is “better,” perse, as there are benefits and drawbacks to each fuel source. Butanol’s energy yield per gallon is about 26,000 btu higher than that of ethanol, and is 6 times less evaporative than ethanol. Furthermore, little would need to be modified as far as the average motor vehicle’s engine were one to swap gasoline for butanol, and it could be shipped and transported via currently existing fuel pipelines. However, the current process by which butanol is extracted uses petroleum, and alternative fermentation processes do not see as high of a yield of useable product per bushel of corn as compared with ethanol.
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