MIAMI 2015: BRP debuts new biofuel alternative

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BRP’s Evinrude brand showcased biobutanol, a promising second-generation biofuel, during test rides at the Miami International Boat Show.

BRP’s Evinrude engineers have been collaborating for four years with the National Marine Manufacturers Association and several engine and boat manufacturers in the testing of advanced alternative fuels for use in recreational marine engines and boats.

Ongoing research in the industry has been exploring cost-effective fuel alternatives to higher ethanol blends such as E15, which have caused complications in recreational marine engines.

“Boaters have the opportunity to test how the fuel works first hand here at the show, and that’s definitely part of the equation in creating interest and demand for this next-generation biofuel,” BRP-Evinrude engineering manager in emissions testing, certification and regulatory development Jeff Wasil said in a statement. “We’ve been collaborating across the industry for several years and have published multiple papers on our findings. The data, paired with the experience, will definitely help us move the fuel conversation forward.”

Although the availability of biobutanol fuels at marinas and boat fueling stations is expected to take time, sharing marine industry research on biobutanol fuels is essential to creating a market and an adoption of this fuel.

The Evinrude team offered media and consumers test rides on a 25 Bay Boat by Crevalle Boats powered by an Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp engine.

Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Argonne National Laboratory, Evinrude has been integral to the four-year comprehensive testing program, which includes the American Boat and Yacht Council and other boat and engine manufacturers across the industry.

Testing included; measurements of gaseous and particulate engine exhaust emissions, combustion analysis, cold start, runability, durability and more. The team tested many engine technologies from engine and boat manufacturers, including 4-stroke carbureted and fuel-injected outboard engines, conventional 2-stroke carbureted outboard engines, sterndrive engines and E-TEC direct fuel injection outboard engines.

The team accumulated thousands of marine engine and boat test hours in the study and the results suggest that biobutanol blends of as much as 16.1 percent can be used in marine engines and boats without a deterioration of engine or boat performance. The researchers found no engine durability or exhaust emission failures throughout the test program.

All Evinrude engines continue to be approved for up to 10 percent ethanol (E10) fuels.

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