NMMA Evaluates Promising Alternative Biofuel


NMMA Evaluates Promising Alternative Biofuel
WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 18, 2011–The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today released findings from preliminary evaluations on isobutanol-gasoline blends supplied by Gevo.   The tests were conducted by NMMA and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) as the recreational boating industry explores alternative biofuels in response to the U.S. introduction of gasoline containing fifteen percent ethanol, commonly referred to as E15.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently approved the use of E15 for model year 2001 and newer cars and trucks. However, the boating industry has found that fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol causes severe damage to boat engines. While marine engines are not currently approved by the EPA for use with E15, misfueling at the pump is a danger for boaters unaware that E15 is not compliant with boat engines.
In contrast, the testing conducted on isobutanol reveals it could be a promising biofuel alternative to E15.The NMMA and ABYC isobutanol evaluations tested components, including older fiberglass tanks, and engines during on-the-water testing on inboard, outboard, jet pump and two-stroke outboard engines. The tests showed isobutanol to produce no more emissions than pure, EPA-approved test gasoline, while producing 30 percent more energy than ethanol. Support from Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) and Volvo made the testing possible through the provisions of product, personnel and testing equipment.
What’s more, the DOE has designated isobutanol a "drop-in biofuel," meaning it can be used to displace petroleum under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and increasing its use could help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.  Support from Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) and Volvo Penta made the testing possible through the provisions of product, personnel and testing equipment. Gevo, Inc., producer of isobutanol, supplied the fuel for the testing.
NMMA President Thom Dammrich says of the NMMA and ABYC isobutanol research, “We are pleased with the results of the evaluation on isobutanol and look forward to more testing on this, and other, important alternatives to E15. We know E15 causes significant damage to boat engines and therefore rushing it to the market is irresponsible and an unnecessary step, especially in light of the promising test results on isobutanol.”
For questions or media inquiries please contact Lauren Dunn at 202-280-6928 or [email protected]. To read the recently released Boat US article on this important evaluation, click here.