Biofuels Debate Rages On

Coming to market soon is a 15 percent blend of ethanol fuel mix. The new blend has outboard marine engine producers up in arms. An engineer from Mercury Marine Corp. was scheduled to testify before a congressional committee last week regarding the damage the new biofuel blend has on outboard engines.

In one of the Department of Energy approved tests, a 200-horsepower outboard engine’s bearings on a piston disintegrated after 300 hours of operation. Meanwhile, the outboard engine using mercury engine oil and fuel mixture did not experience any damage. Supporters of the new blend counter that the tests are statistically irrelevant because so few engines were used. Supporters also claim that the engines tested were not calibrated properly for the new 15 percent ethanol blend.

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