Optimum Engine Performance: The Marketer's Opportunity
August 2, 2019 - MCC's latest article is now available in the Summer 2019 issue of Fuel Market News Magazine: Optimum Engine Performance - The Marketer's Opportunity.
This short read focuses on fuel marketers, the evolution of gasoline engines and the accompanying detergent technology required to keep engines running at peak performance.
Click the "Read more" button below to see the full article!
The FMN version is available here, and you can also read the full text below:
Optimum Engine Performance: The Marketer’s Opportunity
Dr. Bernard C. Roell, Jr.
Gasoline detergent technology has been around for many years, quietly optimizing engine performance from carburetors to modern injectors; however, engine technology continues to evolve, and today’s engines work harder than ever to keep pushing vehicle outputs to new heights. Marketers have the unique opportunity to capitalize on this by offering enhanced gasoline packages while touting the many benefits that come with choosing their fuel over a competitor’s.
Vehicle & Engine Evolution
Vehicles have evolved over the last 20 years, with each iteration challenging engine performance and fuel economy:
- >40% smaller engine design
- >90% higher horsepower
- 50% more gears in 4 to 6 speed transmissions
- >35% faster 0-60 speeds
- >40% bigger vehicle size
- >50% more fuel efficient
And these trends will only continue as time goes on—estimates show that 85% of North American light vehicle production gas engines will be gas direct injected/turbo gas direct injected (GDI/TGDI) versus port fuel injected (PFI). GDI technology allows for precise timing of fuel injection, lower fuel consumption (per horsepower), and an ultra-lean combustion mode; with these benefits come challenges as well, including finer particulates, injector fouling and low speed pre-ignition—which all add up to reduced engine efficiency. To keep pace with the ever-increasing engine performance demands, adequate detergency levels (and beyond) are paramount.
Gasoline Fuel Evolution & Ethanol
Since the Clean Air Act’s implementation, detergency has been regulated for gasoline fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mandated lower limit for deposit control additive (known as the lowest additive concentration [LAC]) is only intended to provide a keep-clean level of detergency—preventing the accumulation of deposits on critical fueling system parts (but not to provide clean-up of any existing deposits).
Figure 1 illustrates carbon build-up on the injectors after 100 hours of dirty-up with unadditized fuel—these injector deposits rob engines of horsepower, fuel economy, and increase emissions. Figure 2 shows the exceptional difference with additized fuel after 100 hours; fewer deposits equal better performance and a longer life expectancy for engines.
TOP TIER™ Detergent Gasoline: A Higher Standard
With the evolution of engine technologies, detergent levels in gasoline needed to evolve as well to ensure optimal vehicle performance. A group of top auto makers (original equipment manufacturers [OEMs]) recognized that the current EPA LAC detergency regulations lack the necessary protection to ensure engine cleanliness and top performance for the life of the vehicle. In 2004, this OEM group established a voluntary program for fuel marketers: TOP TIER™ Detergent Gasoline. TOP TIER™ Detergent Gasoline sets a higher standard of detergent concentration than is currently required by the EPA and provides the missing “keep clean” level of detergency—containing 2-3 times more detergent than LAC and actively working to keep a new engines fuel injectors and intake valves free of deposits.
What does this mean for detergent additives? The chemistry must provide:
- Excellent detergency
- Combustion chamber deposit control
- Low tendency for valve sticking
- Improved low temperature stability
- No compatibility issues with the fuel
Is TOP TIER™ Worth the Extra Cost?
Your customers want to get the most out of their engines. They want to protect their GDI- or TGDI-equipped vehicle, so using a TOP TIER™ Detergent Gasoline or premium blended (5 times LAC) gasoline is the major OEM recommendation and best choice for optimal efficiency. While the cost may be a bit more, you’ll receive the added value and customer loyalty, improving your bottom line.
What is the Next Step for Marketers?
MCC is ready to be your partner in fuel additives. We can tailor fuel additives to your specifications. Ready to begin the TOP TIER™ Detergent Gasoline licensing process? We are here to guide you through the steps.