Entrepreneurs are hoping to capitalize on the demand for biofuel by purchasing financially distressed ethanol plants and converting them to make biobutanol according to the Wall Street Journal.

Due to the increase in corn prices and lower oil prices, some ethanol plants have been forced to shut down. New biofuel companies see the opportunity to make biobutanol, another plant-based fuel that can be used to make plastic products or blended into gasoline.

Biobutanol is made from corn, wheat and a variety of inedible crops. It can blend with gasoline in higher concentrations than ethanol and is used to make plastics for water bottles and flat-screen televisions. Unlike ethanol, biobutanol can be moved by pipeline.

Gevo Inc., a privately held biofuels company claims it has successfully converted an ethanol plant in Missouri to produce biobutanol. Gevo Inc., plans to retrofit up to five ethanol plants. Gevo Chief Executive Patrick Gruber sees biobutanol as a better alternative to ethanol because it has more uses.

The downside to biobutanol is its high production costs, but sources say it remains competitive with oil as long as oil stays above $45 per barrel.

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Source: Wall Street Journal