Soot up and clean house
It’s said that cleanliness is next to Godliness, and Engen Petroleum has taken this to heart. JACO DE KLERK attended the launch of the company’s new fuels and discovered that they’re not only cleaner, but doing some cleaning of their own.
Engen Petroleum’s new and rebranded fuels, Engen Primax Unleaded and Engen Dynamic Diesel, became available nationwide on November 1. “This is without doubt the leading technology in the industry,” says Engen business manager John Kennedy. “It has been developed by listening to what our customers and motorists want on both the petrol and diesel side.”
He adds that this development fundamentally revolves around the dilemma of increasing economy without sacrificing performance. “Ultimately, getting more for your buck and increasing the mileage you’re getting out of a litre of fuel.”
This power-retention and economy combination is achieved with a next-generation detergent additive package that gets added to the fuel locally. The additive package was produced through a joint venture between Petronas (Engen’s majority shareholder), Engen and an additive technical partner.
The multifunctional detergent package used in the new Engen Dynamic Diesel, which is available in both 50 and 500 parts per million of sulphur, restores engine cleanliness throughout the fuel distribution system by combating soot deposit build-ups in the injectors, pipes, filters, fuel pumps and the fuel tanks itself. “It obviously reduces exhaust emissions and reduces injection deposits, which improves fuel economy and enhances power,” notes Kennedy.
Riaan Henn, fuels technology manager at Engen, emphasises that the product was tested in the latest laboratory facilities, as well as in the field by the company’s technology partner, using industry standards methods. “We wanted to ensure that the product is fit for purpose and stable to use,” he adds.
The tests showed that the detergent greatly prohibits loss of power in new engines, and has profound effects in engines that have already suffered diminished performance. “In some cases, the power was restored to its original condition in mere hours,” exclaims Henn.
The additive package delivers various other benefits, including improved anti-foaming performance, enhanced corrosion protection and better water tolerance characteristics (protecting the fuel system against emulsification through an additional additive).
“I’m sure you know that the foaming on our package is already exceptional,” notes Henn. “However, our anti-foam performance has further improved.” This results in quicker refuelling, greater volumes attained and increased equipment availability as the vehicles have more fuel in their tanks. There is also less spillage, because the tanks won’t foam over as easily – reassuring, since every drop counts in these trying times.
As for the corrosion protection qualities, the fuel was tested on steel pins to demonstrate exactly what kind of effect the additive has. The untreated pin looked like it came from the VW Beetle of a hippie who lived by the sea his entire life. The Engen Dynamic Diesel pin, on the other hand, showed virtually no signs of corrosion. “So the package protects the vehicle’s fuel system, fuel tank and all storage facilities as well,” Henn points out.
Engen’s Primax Unleaded petrol, available in 93 and 95 octane, comes with the same multifunctional detergent additive package, but contains something extra. “The petrol is a bit different,” explains Henn. “In addition to the basic package, it contains combustion improvers and a friction modifier.”
The friction modifier does exactly what its name states: it improves lubrication, ensuring greater energy efficiency and even better fuel economy. “Some mechanical loss does occur in the engines due to friction in the cylinder and pistons, but the formula reduces that friction to recover some of the potential power lost,” says Henn.
An organic combustion improver causes more complete combustion of the fuel, ensuring that more energy is released, thus increasing the effectiveness of the engine. “This brings about better acceleration of the vehicle, better response and increased fuel economy,” Henn points out.
It’s clear that Engen’s new fuels have ample benefits, with clients sharing the company’s sentiments. Johan Jansen van Rensburg, divisional manager of Imperial Bulk Services, describes the new fuel as an innovative idea that will definitely benefit those who use Engen products. “The big benefit is that it comes at no extra cost, yet engine cleaning is done for both older and new models.” he adds. “The fuel has potential as a cost saving and time saving tool, because it will result in cleaner fuel systems in vehicles.”
Jansen van Rensburg also points out that the anti-foam capabilities will reduce fuelling time at depots and truck stops. “This will also reduce spillage, and the environment will be spared.”
He adds that Imperial uses roughly four million litres of Engen fuel a month, which will probably decrease since the vehicles will be more fuel efficient thanks to their cleaner fuel systems. “This isn’t what a supplier wants to hear, but at the current cost of fuel, all operators are looking closer at fuel consumption than ever before.”
Jansen van Rensburg says Imperial is proud to say that it is supplied by a company such as Engen, which it sees as one of its business partners.
The rebranded and improved Engen Dynamic Diesel and Engen Primax Unleaded haven’t only been launched nationwide – they have also been available in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Mauritius from the beginning of this month.
“Going forward, these will definitely be very strong sub brands for us,” notes Henn. “The previous package was trusted, and I think a lot of people did benefit from our products, and this will continue moving forward. We put in the effort to continuously improve, and will continue to do so.”
Only time will tell how high Engen will soar and what difference its new fuels will truly make in the commercial market.