Gevo: Marine industry consortium releases isobutanol test results

By Gevo Inc. | February 16, 2015

A consortium of leading organizations from the recreational marine industry has completed more than four years of testing Gevo Inc.’s renewable isobutanol in marine engines. Thousands of hours of testing showed that isobutanol blends of up to 16.1 percent can be used in marine engines without deterioration of engine or boat performance. The tests were performed in collaboration with the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the American Boat and Yacht Council and several engine and boat manufacturers across the industry. The testing was also supported by The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Argonne National Laboratory.

The consortium tested many engine technologies from several engine and boat manufacturers, and included measurements of gaseous and particulate engine exhaust emissions, combustion analysis, cold start, run ability, durability and more. No engine exhaust emissions failures, durability issues or run ability issues were experienced during the multi-year test program.

At the Miami Boat Show, Bombardier Recreational Products reported the results of the tests and offered media and consumers test rides on a 25 Bay Boat by Crevalle Boats powered by an Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP engine. The fuel is a blend of 16.1 percent of Gevo's isobutanol with gasoline. "Boaters have the opportunity to test how the fuel works first hand at the show, and that's definitely part of the equation in creating interest and demand for this next-generation biofuel," said Jeff Wasil, engineering manager in emissions testing, certification and regulatory development for BRP-Evinrude. "All engines performed very well throughout the testing program. It's great to have a biofuel that is so transparent to engine and boat performance all the while minimizing fuel related issues such as phase separation of water and corrosion." 

"This data reconfirms that the properties of isobutanol make it an excellent renewable blendstock for the marine market. We are excited to supply renewable isobutanol for marine and off-road applications and we look forward to growing this market with many of the participants from the consortium," said Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo.