Isobutanol better than ethanol for marine engines

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Boaters and others looking for an alternative to ethanol blend gasoline now have another option – gasoline blended with isobutanol.

The National Marine Manufacturers Assocation announced it has given its approval to isobutanol as a suitable and safe alternative biofuel to ethanol.

Like ethanol, isobutanol is an alcohol additive produced through distillation of organic material, with corn being the most common source. But isobutanol lacks the negative properties of ethanol.

Jess Hewitt of Gulf Racing Fuels says the fuel doesn’t have the problems with moisture and phase separation. It also packs a bigger energy punch, 85 percent of the same amount of gasoline while ethanol yields 65 percent.

Gulf rolled out the new fuel in 93 octane and 100 octane in 5 gallon and 55 gallon containers, and has been available at a handful of Houston, Dallas and Austin Gulf stations, for several months.

Within the year, some Gulf stations could have pumps dedicated for the isobutanol/gasoline blend. Don’t look for low prices. The isobutanol/gasoline mix will sell between $4.50 – $5.00 per gallon.

Photo: Houston Chronicle

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