Gevo has begun supplying the research and development
(R&D) center of the US Coast Guard with initial
quantities of finished 16.1% renewable isobutanol-blended
gasoline for engine testing, the company confirmed on
"Gevo's proprietary isobutanol-blended gasoline is truly a
drop-in fuel, deliberately designed to be fully compliant with
marine fuel specifications, including fit-for-purpose
properties," said Patrick Gruber, Gevo's CEO.
"Isobutanol's low-water solvency and non-corrosive
characteristics will offer consumers a high-performance,
renewable biofuel ideally suited for a wide
variety of marine engine applications," he added.
The R&D center is using the Gevo-blended fuel as part of
a 12-month, long-term operational study on marine engines that
began during June.
The testing is being performed under a cooperative research and
development agreement (CRADA) between the US Coast Guard, Honda
and Mercury. It will focus on two of the Coast Guard's
platform boats -- a 38-foot special purpose craft-training
boat and a 25-foot small response boat.
"This testing will validate isobutanol-blended gasoline as a
clean-burning, homegrown, drop-in fuel for marine
applications," Gruber said. "As we accelerate our full-scale
commercial production efforts at the world's first renewable
isobutanol plant in Luverne, Minn., we are extremely excited to
be working with a partner like the US Coast Guard to evaluate
and develop a product line of high-performance,
isobutanol-based fuel blends for the marine engine market."
The Coast Guard completed a 3-month round of testing in
Florida earlier this year under the CRADA with Honda engines
running on fuel supplied by Gevo with 16.1% renewable
isobutanol. Engines were run at full throttle for an 8-hour day
for several months and then broken down and inspected.
"We are pleased so far with our testing of isobutanol as a
potential alternative to ethanol as a blend stock in gasoline
for marine applications," said Mike Coleman, project manager at the Coast
Guard's R&D center.
"Isobutanol is a biofuel that compared to ethanol, has higher energy density,
lower RVP, and does not present phase separation issues seen
with ethanol," he continued.
"All testing so far has been positive, and when the Yorktown
tests are completed next year, we expect to have the
information available to allow a decision on whether 16.1%
isobutanol fuel blends will be certified for use in the Coast
Guard gasoline engine fleet."
Testing will take place at the US Coast Guard's training
center in Yorktown, Virginia.