Gevo supplies Coast Guard with isobutanol-blended gasoline
Gevo Inc. has begun supplying the U.S. Coast Guard Research & Development Center with initial quantities of finished 16.1 percent renewable isobutanol-blended gasoline for engine testing.
"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."
The U.S. Coast Guard Research & Development 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 U.S. Coast Guard, Honda, and Mercury and will focus on two of the Coast Guard's platform boats, a 38-foot Special Purpose Craft -Training Boat, and a 25-foot Response Boat - Small.
The US Coast Guard completed a three month round of testing in Florida earlier this year under the CRADA with Honda engines running on fuel supplied by Gevo which contained 16.1 percent renewable isobutanol. Engines were run at full throttle for an eight-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 USCG Research & Development Center stated. Isobutanol is a biofuel that compared to ethanol, has higher energy density, lower RVP, and does not present phase separation issues seen with ethanol. "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 percent Isobutanol fuel blends will be certified for use in the Coast Guard gasoline engine fleet,” he continued.
"This testing will validate isobutanol-blended gasoline as a clean-burning, homegrown, drop-in fuel for marine applications," Gruber added. "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 U.S. Coast Guard to evaluate and develop a product line of high-performance, isobutanol-based fuel blends for the marine engine market."
Testing will take place at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Va.