Producers Gevo and Butamax have both announced the approval of bio-isobutanol for gasoline storage and dispensing equipment by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). The independent product safety and testing company has approved the generic use of up to 16% isobutanol in UL 87A pumps by any manufacturer meeting ASTM specifications, providing all of the service stations across the US with the assurance that isobutanol blended gasoline will work in their current gasoline pumps without the need to purchase new equipment.
Gevo and Butamax have been working with UL for several years to approve the use of isobutanol in UL 87A pumps. This is the first time that UL has made such a decision. The guidance clears the way for State Agencies to consider and approve dispensing of isobutanol gasoline fuel blends.
Butamax said it will work immediately with State and Federal authorities to complete final approvals for dispensing of gasoline-containing isobutanol. Butamax expects to be commercially producing isobutanol by 2015. The company recently announced construction of phase 1 of its first retrofit facility at Highwater Ethanol in Lamberton, Minnesota.
Gevo is already producing bio-isobutanol at its facility in Luverne, Minnesota. The company also recently announced that the US Army has successfully flown the Black Hawk helicopter using a 50/50 blend of Gevo’s ATJ-8 (Alcohol-to-Jet) renewable fuel. The flight marks the first ever Army aircraft to fly on the isobutanol ATJ blend. The testing is performed as part of Gevo’s contract to supply more than 16,000 gallons to the US Army.