Cruising along America’s shores, and lakes in a boat might be the quintessential American summer experience, however, 17 million recreational boats have taken their ecological toll on the US in the past decades.
In order to counteract these negative externalities, the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has teamed with marine industry partners such as Bombardier Recreational Products to investigate alternative fuels for recreational marine applications.
Past recommendations would have been to increase ethanol levels in fuel mixes. This advise, however, is ill suited for the recreational marine industry, due to the nature of motor boats, ethanol attracting water, potentially allow surrounding water to enter fuel tanks and affect the engines performance.
Thomas Wallner, Austrian scientist, research engineer, and Principal Investigator at Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research has therefore researched, identified, and advocated for the use of butanol, which unlike ethanol does not attract water, and does not harm the engine.
Wallner stresses that “Butanol at 16 percent blend level works as well as ethanol at 10 percent under tested conditions.” In effect, after years of testing the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has approved this new butanol fuel, which seeks to substitute the ecologically more harmful 10-15% ethanol fuel blends.
Your guilt free boat cruise can start now!