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Testing shows isobutanol fuel blends show promise for use in small engines, off-road vehicles

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) reported that a side-by-side evaluation of the performance, durability and emissions of ethanol and isobutanol fuel blends run by Briggs & Stratton (B&S) on its small engines found that isobutanol fuel blends (provided by Gevo) did not cause any irregular or unstable engine or performance issues. The results suggest that isobutanol could help meet the renewable fuel mandate with minimal to no impact on existing equipment and off-road vehicles.

After testing three different B&S engine models on gasoline containing 12.5% isobutanol, the following results were recorded:

  • No engine or performance issues were found while running on isobutanol.
  • Horsepower and torque levels remained the same while running on isobutanol.
  • Equivalent or better performance than E10 at temperatures ranging from 40°F to 120°F.
  • No significant change in emissions (HC+NOx) levels.
  • Isobutanol does not absorb water like ethanol. This will lead to fewer problems in the seasonal use conditions and long storage periods that are common with small engine applications.

Briggs & Stratton is encouraged by the results of the isobutanol testing on our engines. We are very interested in alternative fuels that do not cause damage to the substantial number of engines in use today while lessening the country’s dependency on foreign oil.

—Todd Teske, Chairman, President & CEO of Briggs & Stratton

These positive results show that isobutanol is an excellent gasoline additive. If isobutanol blends run well in small engines, they should run well in all engines without the need for flex fuel retrofits, blender pumps or new infrastructure as our own, previous testing, has shown. Renewable isobutanol should therefore make it easier for the nation to gain energy independence and meet mandated biofuel targets.

—Pat Gruber, CEO of Gevo

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 80 engine and equipment manufacturers worldwide in the utility, forestry, landscape, and lawn and garden industry. OPEI is a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the development of safety standards.

Comments

HarveyD

Wasn't this a rather well known fact?

Mannstein

It was indeed.

william g irwin

But it needs to be repeated often.!.! There seems to be little investment/reaction to a fuel with such desireable characteristics as butanol. Ethanol reduces fuel mileage, absorbs water, and slowly eats old engine materials. Seems like a natural.

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