Butanol has proved to be a very promising alternative fuel in recent years. The production of bio-butanol, typically done using the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process is expensive and consumes a lot of energy. Hence it is of interest to study the intermediate fermentation product, i.e. water-containing ABE as a potential fuel. The combustion and emissions performance of ABE29.5W0.5 (29.5 vol.% ABE, 0.5 vol.% water and gasoline blend), ABE30 (30 vol.% ABE and gasoline blend) and ABE0 (pure gasoline) were investigated in this study. The results showed that ABE29.5W0.5 enhanced engine torque by 9.6%-12.7% and brake thermal efficiency (BTE) by 5.2%-11.6% compared to pure gasoline, respectively. ABE29.5W0.5 also showed similar brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) relative to pure gasoline. According to the mass fraction burned (MFB) calculation, ABE29.5W0.5 presented a longer ignition delay and combustion duration, which meant that ABE29.5W0.5 had a lower combustion rate resulted by the reduced combustion temperature due to water addition. Additionally, ABE29.5W0.5 produced a lower nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO), but also increased unburned hydrocarbon (UHC), but showed decreased nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions compared to ABE30 and pure gasoline.