Mercury Marine engineer testifies about E15 damage

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David Hilbert testified Wednesday before Congress on behalf of the National Marine Manufacturers Association to address concerns about E15 and marine engines.

Hilbert, a thermodynamic development engineer for Mercury Marine, participated in a hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The subcommittee invited a number of specialists to testify on E15 and its effects.

Hilbert’s testimony highlighted the damaging effects that E15 has on marine engines. He noted that more testing is needed to further identify how E15 will affect engines and fuel systems under various conditions. Mercury’s testing showed significant problems with outboard engines, including severe damage to engine components and an increase in exhaust emissions, reinforcing the recreational boating industry’s concern that E15 is not a suitable fuel for marine engines, the NMMA said.

“We are pleased that Congress has shown an ongoing interest in this important research,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. “NMMA is committed to continued research on E15 and its effects on marine engines. We hope that before any E15 is offered to the public, a thorough investigation will be completed so that boaters can safely fuel their vessels without incident now and in the future.”

The subcommittee heard testimony from representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Petroleum Institute, Gevo, the Energy Biosciences Institute, the University of Wyoming Institute of Environment and Natural Resources, and the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association.


4 comments on “Mercury Marine engineer testifies about E15 damage

  1. mercman

    So far this fuel costs more to make, damages engines, mileage is less, food prices higher, where are we going with this?

  2. styreneblood

    Mercman, with any luck we are headed toward the phasing out of this very unsatisfactory fuel additive. Isobutanol studies look very promising- guess we need a high-powered big spending lobby to push it through also!

  3. Blair Hackney

    My vessel is a 36ft. SeaRay, 1983, and to use 10% or E15 Ethanol requires complete change of all fuel hoses, new gas filters, and repair of carburetor.
    The damage to older vessels is so bad that I am selling my boat due to damage potentials that have already occurred on boats in my Marina at Lake Texoma, Denison, Texas.

  4. will gross

    E85 fuels are an ongoing problem with marine engines.
    With it’s continuance and increasing the proposed percentages
    it will drive customers away from boating.

    For example, a customer brings us a (110 hr) 90 HP Direct injection
    engine with low compression in one cylinder. We found a melt pistons
    due to injector failure. Further inspection pointed to a injector clogged
    with rubber particles.

    The estimated repair is $ 3900.00 and the 2 year engine and can be
    replaced for $ 8840.00.

    What does this customer do? He sells the boat and we lost another
    first time boater, maybe for good.

    This scenario is not uncommon.

    I have been repairing boats for over three decades and have never
    seen the problems we have been seeing for the last five years.

    We are headed for big trouble.

    Premier Marine, Inc.
    Orlando, Fl

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