Monday, March 20, 2017

A New Blend for Boat Gas in Maryland?

Isobutanol Coming to the Chesapeake
In an effort to find relief from the challenges to fuel containing Ethanol, the Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) has been working to substitute Isobutanol for Ethanol in Maryland. This required MTAM to send a formal request for an exemption to the regulation that had prevented the splash blending of Isobutanol with fuel. The request was granted. For the near future, this fuel will be available only to on-water fuel facilities.

Advantages of marine fuel with Isobutanol:

  • Ethanol free
  • No phase separation
  • NO water solubility issues
  • 30% higher energy content than ethanol
  • High octane
  • Reduced emissions
  • Made from renewable resources

The National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) has tested, recognized, and validated the performance of isobutanol blends in marine engines. Mercury, Evinrude, Johnson, Sea Doo, Volvo Penta, Honda, Yamaha, and Indmar engines have all been extensively tested on isobutanol blends up to 16%. The manufacturers acknowledge the advantages over ethanol.
I hate ethanol in gas, and especially in boat gas, where water separation is an even worse problem than with land vehicles.The only time I've ever broken down on the water was due to water in the gas, caused by ethanol. Of course, this will not be available cheaply at regular stations, which is how I buy most of my gas, so until the Harbor starts carrying gas again, it won't help me.

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