Biobutanol has been identified as a suitable and safe alternative biofuel to ethanol according to engine manufacturers from across the recreational boating industry.
For five years, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) under the direction and guidance of the U.S. Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory have been engaged in a program to evaluate the performance of recreational marine engines operated on fuel containing up to 16 percent biobutanol.
The recreational boating industry has been focused on moving toward alternative, renewable fuels that are also safe for all engines and consumers who may use them. Fuel with a higher blend of ethanol has reportedly caused damage to marine engines, so the marine industry has explored biobutanol fuel blends.
John McKnight, senior vice president for government relations at NMMA said, “Our on-water and laboratory testing of biobutanol has been conducted in a wide variety of recreational marine engines and boats, giving us confidence that this fuel is a safe, viable alternative to ethanol.”
The research and subsequent resolution to formally move forward with butanol as an industry-wide biofuel alternative comes as the industry focuses on addressing the congressionally-mandated Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requiring 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended into the gasoline supply by 2022.
The U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center has more information on biobutanol.