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National Marine Manufacturer's Association Demands More Science on Ethanol
NMMA Members Testify Before Congress -2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 3, 2011– On Wednesday, Mr. David Hilbert testified before Congress on behalf of NMMA to address concerns about E15 and marine engines. Mr. Hilbert, thermodynamic development engineer for Mercury Marine, a division of the Brunswick Corporation, participated in a Congressional 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. Mr. Hilbert led the research on E15 and its effects on marine engines as reported by the Department of Energy in reports released in late October.
Mr. Hilbert’s testimony highlighted the damaging effects that E15 has on marine engines, and 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 Subcommittee heard testimony from representatives of the EPA, 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. Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-MD), received David’s testimony favorably and the committee members had no questions for Mr. Hilbert after the research was presented. The testimony and accompanying photos will be printed in the official record of the hearing.  
NMMA President Thom Dammrich says, “We are pleased that Congress has shown an ongoing interest in this important research. 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.”
   For questions or media inquiries please contact Lauren Dunn at 202-280-6928 or ldunn@nmma.org.  

OPB Segment on E-10 and Its Harmful Effects on Watercraft


Oregon Field Guide: Safeguarding your boat against ethanol issues could save you thousands of dollars. If you own a boat that runs on gas, maintaining your boat has changed dramatically since the federal government mandated ethanol blend at the pumps.

BoatUS Asks: If Not Ethanol, Why Not Butanol?
Monday, February 6, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 6, 2012 -- With its ability to attract moisture and clog fuel filters, it’s no wonder America’s boaters have not been thrilled with ethanol in gasoline, which today is most commonly found as a 10% blend and known as E10 at the gas pump. America’s desire for renewable fuels is growing, but recent Department of Energy tests on boat engines showed that increasing the amount of ethanol to 15% doesn’t work for boats. While higher ethanol content has been approved by the EPA for 2001 and newer cars and light trucks, E15 is not legal to use in boats and other gas-powered equipment.   Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) suggests that butanol, an alcohol with a characteristic banana-like odor typically made from corn and beet byproducts, may be an answer.   Unlike ethanol, butanol is less corrosive, doesn’t attract moisture which can cause harmful “phase separation” of the fuel, and can be mixed in ahead of time and shipped through existing pipelines. It has a higher energy value (110,000 Btu per gallon versus ethanol’s 84,000 Btu), and is safer because its flammability is similar to diesel fuel. So why aren’t America’s boaters, motorists and gas-powered tool and toy owners using butanol?   “Part of the answer is how the stuff is - or was - made,” wrote BoatUS Seaworthy Magazine Editor and Damage Avoidance Expert Bob Adriance. He says, “Back in the 1980’s when the government was looking at biofuels, the cost to produce butanol was much higher than ethanol. Congress also gave ethanol a head start 30 years ago with a subsidy to produce it from corn. However, the subsidy is now expired and new technologies have made the costs to produce both fuels similar, although butanol is ultimately far less expensive to produce in terms of the amount of energy delivered per gallon.”   “With its new cost competitiveness and energy advantages, butanol could be a biofuel that boaters embrace,” said Adriance. “However, we need to find out more about any potential long-term effects, and would need to overcome the not-too-insignificant reality of ethanol’s financial and political momentum in the market today.”   ###