FUEL OF THE FUTURE?
Gevo, in fact, supplied isobutanol fuel for an
entire summer of testing, according to John
Adey, technical director for the American
Boat and Yacht Council and a member of
our BoatU.S. Magazine tech team writing
“Ask The Experts.” Adey handled logistics
for the four-month project and designed test
protocols that put three boats through their
paces on isobutanol.
“By the time we were done in September,
we’d gone through about 800 gallons of
isobutanol-enhanced fuel,” Adey reported.
“We wanted to conduct the scientific emissions tests, but also just to operate the boats
on this fuel the same way regular boaters
would during a summer.” Adey’s work actually started in March, prepping the boats: a
Mako 19 with a 175-hp Evinrude E-Tec, two-stroke outboard; an 18-foot Sea Ray with
135-hp Mercruiser inboard/outboard power;
and a 23-foot Sea Doo with twin 215-hp
Rotax engines driving its jet pump. In addition to the calibrated and controlled emissions testing in June, Adey, McKnight, and
others (including a few BoatU.S. staff who
were asked to help) logged 40 hours, what
EPA determines the average “seasonal life”
HOW BAD CAN MORE ETHANOL BE?
GASOLINE-ENGINE MANUFACTURERS and the millions of Americans who use their products have lived almost exclusively with 10-percent ethanol in their automo- biles, trucks, boats, generators, and lawn mowers for at least the last decade.
Manufacturers and the marketplace have adjusted to the requirement, the public is using
it, and air quality is better for it.
Two years ago, ethanol manufacturers began to push for half-again as much ethanol
in our gas tanks, which is 15 percent, or what would be called E15. So what could be wrong
with 50 percent more ethanol in the gasoline that powers our boats? Plenty, according
to a new study conducted by Brunswick Marine and Volvo Penta, which was financed by
a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and monitored by the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory. For example, a total of 300 hours of E15 running time on
three popular models of both 4-stroke and 2-stroke outboard engines, as compared with
running on pure gasoline, showed metal fatigue, misfiring, emissions, and deterioration of
some fuel-system components.
The peer-reviewed tests also ran a carbureted 4.3-liter, 4-stroke inboard engine on E15
and it exhibited cold-start problems and increased emissions. For test details, go to
for recreational boat engines, on each boat.
The June emissions testing with the Mako
provided a baseline for the entire summer
suite of evaluations. According to Jeff Wasil,
engineering technical expert for Evinrude
Marine Engines, and inventor of the MPSS,
which stands for Marine Portable Sampling
System, the first “bag run” captured exhaust
with the engine burning a pure, EPA-approved
test gasoline called Indolene.
“Two years ago we investigated how isobutanol would work in one of our outboards
and its properties seemed much better suited for marine engines,” Wasil said. “We
found no appreciable changes in emissions
and because you get more energy without
more pollution, and with a fuel that appears
to be more compatible with marine engines,
isobutanol looks more promising than ever
as a replacement for ethanol.”
A New Perspective on Bottom Paint...
Inspired by Nature
Finally, an environmentally-friendly bottom
paint that really works! Eco-Clad® Bottom
Paint is based on patented biotechnology
that uses Nature to prevent fouling in an
environmentally responsible way.
• Superior Antifouling Performance
• Reduced Hull Cleaning
• Increased Speed and Fuel Economy