Ethanol or butanol as marine fuel - SailNet Community

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Old 07-09-2006
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Ethanol or butanol as marine fuel

While musing about diesel vs gas engines on sailboats recently, I began to wonder about the suitability of ethanol and butanol as marine fuels. Now I know that alchohol fuels may be unsuitable in a current installation due to incompatable fuel systems and so forth, but what I'm wondering is, given an engine and fuel system designed and optimized for these fuels, would they be safer for boating use due to decreased volatility (less chance for an explosion)? Would they be more enviromentally friendly to the marine enviroment than diesel or gas?

I'm really wondering more about butanol, as I believe ethanol has some undesirable water absorption properties.
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Old 04-28-2007
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ethanol definitely has hydroscopic properties. It will also react with fiberglass tanks - turns them into mush as a solvent! A diesel will run forever, and diesel fuel is safer.
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Old 04-28-2007
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A friend of mine, makes his own Bio diesel which he uses in his sailboat. Trouble is his boat smells like french fries and you have this unreal craving for Micky D's.......
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