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The following are the preliminary results of a research study on diesel fuel Lubricity Additives. There is likely to be further commentary and explanation added at a future time.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this research was to determine the ability of multiple diesel fuel additives to replace the vital lubricity component in ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel) fuel.

HISTORY:

ULSD fuel is the fuel currently mandated for use in all on-road diesel engines. This fuel burns cleaner and is less polluting than its predecessor, called Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel. Low sulfur fuel contained less than 500 ppm of sulfur. ULSD contains 15 ppm or less.
As diesel fuel is further refined to remove the polluting sulfur, it is inadvertently stripped of its lubricating properties. This vital lubrication is a necessary component of diesel fuel as it prevents wear in the fuel delivery system. Specifically, it lubricates pumps, high-pressure pumps, and injectors. Traditional Low sulfur diesel fuel typically contained enough lubricating ability to suffice the needs of these vital components. ULSD fuel, on the other hand, is considered to be very “dry” and incapable of lubricating vital fuel delivery components. As a result, these components are at risk of premature and even catastrophic failure when ULSD fuel is introduced to the system. As a result, all oil companies producing ULSD fuel must replace the lost lubricity with additives. All ULSD fuel purchased at retail fuel stations SHOULD be adequately treated with additives to replace this lost lubricity. The potential result of using inadequately treated fuel, as indicated above, can be catastrophic. There have been many documented cases of randomly tested samples of diesel fuel. These tests prove that often times the fuel we purchase is not adequately treated and may therefore contribute to accelerated wear of our fuel delivery systems. For this reason, it may be prudent to use an after-market diesel fuel additive to ENSURE adequate lubrication of the fuel delivery system. Additionally, many additives can offer added benefits such as cetane improvers, and water separators or emulsifiers.

CONTENT:

In this study, we will test multiple diesel fuel additives designed to replace lost lubricity. The primary component of this study is a side-by-side laboratory analysis of each additive’s ability to replace this vital lubricity. Additionally, claims of improving cetane, water separation or emulsification, bio-diesel compatibility, and alcohol content will be noted. These notes were derived from information that was readily available to consumers (via the label and internet information) and none of this information has been evaluated for validity and/or performance. Cetane information has only been noted if the word “cetane” was used in the advertising information. The words “improves power” have not been translated to mean “improves cetane” in this evaluation. Information on alcohol content is provided by indicating “contains no alcohol”. The omission of the words “contains no alcohol” does not imply that it does contain alcohol. This information was simply missing in the information available to a consumer. However, the possibility of a form of alcohol in these products is possible. Additionally, information on dosages and cost per tankful is included for comparison purposes.

How Diesel Fuel Is Evaluated For Lubricating Ability:

Diesel fuel and other fluids are tested for lubricating ability using a device called a “High-Frequency Reciprocating Rig” or HFRR. The HFRR is currently the Internationally accepted, standardized method to evaluate fluids for lubricating ability. It uses a ball bearing that reciprocates or moves back and forth on a metal surface at a very high frequency for a duration of 90 minutes. The machine does this while the ball bearing and metal surface are immersed in the test fluid (in this case, treated diesel fuel). At the end of the test, the ball bearing is examined under a microscope and the “wear scar” on the ball bearing is measured in microns. The larger the wear scar, the poorer the lubricating ability of the fluid. Southwest Research runs every sample twice and averages the size of the wear scar.
The U.S. standard for diesel fuel says a commercially available diesel fuel should produce a wear scar of no greater than 520 microns. The Engine Manufacturers Association had requested a standard of a wear scar no greater than 460 microns, typical of the pre-ULSD fuels. Most experts agree that a 520-micron standard is adequate, but also that the lower the wear scar the better.

METHOD:

An independent research firm in Texas was hired to do the laboratory work. The cost of the research was paid for voluntarily by the participating additive manufacturers. Declining to participate and pay for the research were the following companies: Amsoil and Power Service. Because these are popular products it was determined that they needed to be included in the study. These products were tested using funds collected by diesel enthusiasts at “dieselplace.com”. Additionally, unconventional additives such as 2-cycle oil and used motor oil were tested for their abilities to aid in diesel fuel lubricity. These were also paid for by members of “dieselplace.com”.
The study was conducted in the following manner:
-The Research firm obtained a quantity of “untreated” ULSD fuel from a supplier. This fuel was basic ULSD fuel intended for use in diesel engines. However, this sample was acquired PRIOR to any attempt to additize the fuel for the purpose of replacing lost lubricity. In other words, it was a “worst case scenario, very dry diesel fuel” that would likely cause damage to any fuel delivery system. This fuel was tested using the HFRR at the Southwest Research Laboratory. This fuel was determined to have a very high HFRR score of 636 microns, typical of an untreated ULSD fuel. It was determined that this batch of fuel would be utilized as the baseline fuel for testing all of the additives. The baseline fuel HFRR score of 636 would be used as the control sample. All additives tested would be evaluated on their ability to replace lost lubricity in the fuel by comparing their scores to the control sample. Any score under 636 shows improvement in the fuel's ability to lubricate the fuel delivery system of a diesel engine.

BLIND STUDY:

In order to ensure a completely unbiased approach to the study, the following steps were taken:
Each additive tested was obtained independently via the internet or over-the-counter purchases. The only exceptions were Opti-Lube XPD and the bio-diesel sample. The reason for this is that the Opti-Lube XPD additive was considered “experimental” at the time of test enrollment and was not yet on the market. It was sent directly from Opti-Lube company. The bio-diesel sample was sponsored by Renewable Energy Group. One of their suppliers, E.H. Wolf and Sons in Slinger, Wisconsin supplied us with a sample of 100% soybean-based bio-diesel. This sample was used to blend with the baseline fuel to create a 2% bio-diesel for testing.
Each additive was bottled separately in identical glass containers. The bottles were labeled only with a number. This number corresponded to the additive contained in the bottle. The order of numbering was done randomly by drawing names out of a hat. Only Spicer Research held the key to the additives in each bottle.
The additive samples were then sent in a box to an independent research firm. The only information given to them was the ratio of fuel to be added to each additive sample. For example, bottle “A” needs to be mixed at a ratio of “480-1”. The ratio used for each additive was the “prescribed dosage” found on the bottle label for that product. Used motor oil and 2-cycle oil were tested at a rationally chosen ratio of 200:1.
The Research Laboratory mixed the proper ratio of each “bottled fluid” into a separate container containing the baseline fuel. The data, therefore, is meaningful because every additive is tested in the same way using the same fuel. A side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of each additive is now obtainable.

THE RESULTS:

These results are listed in the order of performance in the HFRR test. The baseline fuel used in every test started at an HFRR score of 636. The score shown is the tested HFRR score of the baseline fuel/additive blend.
Also included is the wear scar improvement provided by the additive as well as other claimed benefits of the additive. Each additive is also categorized as a Multi-purpose additive, Multi-purpose + anti-gel, Lubricity only, non-conventional, or as an additive capable of treating both gasoline and diesel fuel.
As a convenience to the reader, there is also information on the price per treated tank of diesel fuel (using a 26-gallon tank), and dosage per 26-gallon tank provided as “ounces of additive per 26-gallon tank”.

In Order Of Performance:

1) 2% REG SoyPower biodiesel
HFRR 221, 415-micron improvement.
50:1 ratio of baseline fuel to 100% biodiesel
66.56 oz. of 100% biodiesel per 26 gallons of diesel fuel
Price: market value

2)Opti-Lube XPD
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, demulsifier
HFRR 317, 319-micron improvement.
256:1 ratio
13 oz/tank
$4.35/tank

3)FPPF RV, Bus, SUV Diesel/Gas fuel treatment
Gas and Diesel
cetane improver, emulsifier
HFRR 439, 197-micron improvement
640:1 ratio
5.2 oz/tank
$2.60/tank

4)Opti-Lube Summer Blend
Multi-purpose
demulsifier
HFRR 447, 189-micron improvement
3000:1 ratio
1.11 oz/tank
$0.68/tank

5)Opti-Lube Winter Blend
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver
HFRR 461, 175-micron improvement
512:1 ratio
6.5 oz/tank
$3.65/tank

6)Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, emulsifier, bio-diesel compatible
HFRR 470, 166-micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.87/tank

7)Super Tech Outboard 2-cycle TC-W3 engine oil
Unconventional (Not ULSD compliant, may damage 2007 or newer systems)
HFRR 474, 162-micron improvement
200:1 ratio
16.64 oz/tank
$1.09/tank

8)Stanadyne Lubricity Formula
Lubricity Only
demulsifier, 5% bio-diesel compatible, alcohol-free
HFRR 479, 157-micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.00/tank

9)Amsoil Diesel Concentrate
Multi-purpose
demulsifier, bio-diesel compatible, alcohol-free
HFRR 488, 148-micron improvement
640:1 ratio
5.2 oz/tank
$2.16/tank

10)Power Service Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost
Multi-purpose
Cetane improver, bio-diesel compatible, alcohol-free
HFRR 575, 61-micron improvement
400:1 ratio
8.32 oz/tank
$1.58/tank

11)Howe’s Meaner Power Kleaner
Multi-purpose
Alcohol-free
HFRR 586, 50-micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.36/tank

12)Stanadyne Performance Formula
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, demulsifier, 5% bio-diesel compatible, alcohol-free
HFRR 603, 33-micron improvement
480:1 ratio
6.9 oz/tank
$4.35/tank

13)Used Motor Oil, Shell Rotella T 15w40, 5,000 miles used.
Unconventional (Not ULSD compliant, may damage systems)
HFRR 634, 2-micron improvement
200:1 ratio
16.64 oz/tank
price: market value

14)Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant
Gas or diesel
HFRR 641, 5 microns worse than baseline (statistically insignificant change)
427:1 ratio
7.8 oz/tank
$2.65/tank

15)B1000 Diesel Fuel Conditioner by Milligan Biotech
Multi-purpose, canola oil-based additive
HFRR 644, 8 microns worse than baseline (statistically insignificant change)
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$2.67/tank

16)FPPF Lubricity Plus Fuel Power
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
Emulsifier, alcohol-free
HFRR 675, 39 microns worse than baseline fuel
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.12/tank

17)Marvel Mystery Oil
Gas, oil, and Diesel fuel additive (NOT ULSD compliant, may damage 2007 and newer systems)
HFRR 678, 42 microns worse than baseline fuel.
320:1 ratio
10.4 oz/tank
$3.22/tank

18)ValvTect Diesel Guard Heavy Duty/Marine Diesel Fuel Additive
Multi-purpose
Cetane improver, emulsifier, alcohol-free
HFRR 696, 60 microns worse than baseline fuel
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$2.38/tank

19)Primrose Power Blend 2003
Multi-purpose
Cetane boost, bio-diesel compatible, emulsifier
HFRR 711, 75 microns worse than baseline
1066:1 ratio
3.12 oz/tank
$1.39/tank

CONCLUSIONS:

Products 1 through 4 were able to improve the unadditized fuel to an HFRR score of 460 or better. This meets the most strict requirements requested by the Engine Manufacturers Association.
Products 1 through 9 were able to improve the unadditized fuel to an HFRR score of 520 or better, meeting the U.S. diesel fuel requirements for maximum wear scar in commercially available diesel fuel.
Products 16 through 19 were found to cause the fuel/additive blend to perform worse than the baseline fuel. The cause for this is speculative. This is not unprecedented in HFRR testing and can be caused by alcohol or other components in the additives. Further investigation into the possibilities behind these poor results will be investigated.
Any additive testing within +/- 20 microns of the baseline fuel could be considered to have no significant change. The repeatability of this test allows for a +/- 20-micron variability to be considered insignificant.

CREDITS:

This study would not have been possible without the participation of all companies involved and dieselplace.com. A special Thank You to all of the dieselplace.com members who generously donated toward this study and waited longer than they should have for the results. You folks are the best. Arlen Spicer, organizer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Would one of you kind moderators change the thread title to "LUBRICITY ADDITIVE STUDY RESULTS" for me please so I don't look like a dum dum who can't spell? Thank You! SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Duratys;1963859; said:
Interesting results......Good work once again.

Ive never heard of the Opti-Lube XPD, is it available to the buying public yet?
I think it is available now. I just called for pricing so it could be added to the info. Look up Opti-Lube on an internet search for contact info. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
randy_the_hack;1963921; said:
SPICER... thanks a ton for all the work on this study. One logical question that arises is... for the top x performers (x being perhaps the top 4, the top 10, or perhaps all of the additives that improve HFRR over the baseline), which ones actually provide the greatest cetane boost? In other words, though this is a lubricity study, it would be of interest to know which additive not only improved fuel lubricity but also improved combustion performance.

This information would be useful, I think (correct me if I'm wrong), to predict the most performance-improved additive as well as the most lubricity-improved additive. The intersection of those two values, it would seem, would fill in one of the missing blanks. Combined with the cost per tank, which you've already provided, this would make a decision pretty simple, mostly a matter of economics (how much am I willing to pay per tank?).

Or... does this information already exist elsewhere? Again, thanks a bunch!
You are right, the study only reflects lubricity improvement. I am sure that there are tests to verify cetane improver also. I was only able to IMPLY that an additive had cetane improver. This assumption was based on the information provided to us the consumers. No effort was made to verify this claim. Cost and time are the reasons for not verifying cetane ability. Also, many additives claimed to "improve power". I did NOT translate this to mean "improves cetane". If an additive company can prove to me that their product boosts cetane but did not advertise it as such, I will update the records. Opti-Lube Summer, a top performer in this test, does NOT have a cetane improver. Opti-Lube Winter, another top performer, DOES improve cetane. I was told this is because the winter fuels lack the cetane found in summer blend fuels.
As far as I know this information has never been documented anywhere other that by the individual additive companies. Whether or not they would be willing to share this info is another question. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
As a follow up to the poor results in some of the additives. The common theme I see is that 3 are oil based (used motor oil, Marvel Mystery Oil and Lucas). The remaining additives, with the exception of B1000 from Milligan Biotech, are all "emulsifiers". The most common emulsifier in gasloine additives is alcohol. According to Steve Westbrook at Southwest Research, alcohol is known to lead to poor HFRR results. I will check with him to see if other emulsifier components can cause this same result with poor HFRR results. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
guybb3;1964936; said:
Soooooo glad you tested BIO, Spicer. So as a lubricity additive it would be almost free. If a gallon of BIO is only 50 cents more a gallon than #2, it would "really" only cost you $1 to treat 100 gallons. After all you would be buying 2 more gallons of #2 to make the same volume anyway! Know what I'm getting at? Am I explaining my wierd thoughts right?
According to Steve Westbrook at SwRI, The lubricity benefit of biodiesel is pretty much maximized at 2%. Up to 4% gives a SLIGHT increase over 2%, but we are talking sharply diminishing returns. He even offered up that most of the benefit seen at 2% would also be seen at as little as 0.5%. This is nice to know if you are thinking of using bio as a lubricity additive. The need for 100%, 20%, or even 5% bio really isn't at all necessary from a lubricity standpoint.

This answers another recent post. Someone wanted to know if the benefit of additives is cumulative. In other words, add an additive with benefit 300 microns to bio, do you get a crazy low wear scar number. The answer is NO. There is a saturation point. More additive may improve HFRR to a point and then it stops. Adding 3+3 may only equal 3.2. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
blksmok;1964359; said:
One question about this. What level of confidence do you have that the product they sent you to test is what they actually decided to produce and release as a consumer available product? I'm wondering since it was "experimental" at time of test, if the final product chemical makeup was still TBD.
BTW, thanks for all the hard work.
This is a question for them. I have no way of knowing. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Fingers;1964596; said:
Curious if any of these additives have interactions with fuel supplied lubricants and/or rely on their presence to work.

That is, it would be interesting to know how some of these work with treated fuel. Does a 316 additive improvement stack with a fuel's 200?

Does alcohol content invalidate the HFRR test or does it increase the wear using HFRR and real world in a similar fashion?

Oh, and Thank You for your efforts.
According to Steve Westbrook, it can cause poor performance in an HFRR test. Real world? I don't know. Alcohol is very dry and probably not good for the system. It is usually treated as taboo, hence the effort by some to label the product as "Alcohol Free". Alcohol is a great emulsifier, but there are other emulsifiers out there. Do they have similar effects on HFRR? I will ask Steve. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Gradyghost;1964610; said:
Good job on the study! TYVM

Is there any copyright on the test?

Can I make a copy and hang it in my Biodiesel Production facility?

I have alot of customers who always ask what is the best additive and I guess I been telling them correctly!
As long as you are not selling the data, sure. The info should probably be presented as a complete document, not just bits and pieces. This prevents the tendency to selectively quote a study. Thanks for asking. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
bo799;1965491; said:
Great work SPICER. Thanks for putting in the long hours. Did the companies that payed to test their own additive request the findings of the study? It would be interesting to know their reactions or what they say to defend their product. There was some well known products toward the bottom. I bet you may have changed the industry. We will be seeing "new and improved" on some bottles in the future. You are changing the diesel world one part at a time. Great work.
Not all of the companies requested to get a copy of the results, but I am sure they are all interested. They did make the investment to be included after all. I would like to get their reactions also. My personal life is crazy right now. I don't have an afternoon to send e-mails to all participants right now. I will try sometime soon, but there is no light at the end of the tunnel right now. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Ray, I have sent you an E-mail regarding a necessary change. The 2% biodiesel heading needs to be changed to read "2% REG SoyPower biodiesel". This is to give credit to the sponsor and to name the exact brand of biodiesel used in the study. This was my fault not catching this sooner.

As far as soak time, the chemicals used to plate the surface are called "surface reactive" chemicals. As far as I know they are constantly being scuffed off and replaced on the surfaces as the fuel sloshes around. Being surface rective to me implies instant chemical bonding. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Diesel Power;1967766; said:
Excellent job!
Diesel Power, Would you be able to edit my first post (the report) to make the following change....The 2% biodiesel needs to read "2% REG SoyPower biodiesel" I failed to give credit to the sponsor. As well, it is important to point out that not all biodiesel is identical, and brand name may be important. Thanks! I will PM you also. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #118 ·
Gradyghost;1971352; said:
Thanks for the info...getting hard to follow thread with all of the personal digs and all but anyways I did have a question.

Was the biodiesel used for the testing B100 made from Soy oil?
Or was it a blend of biodiesel with other addtives?
Or was it B100 made from WVO? etc
What we did was use 100% soybean biodiesel. It was specifically REG SoyPower biodiesel. This pure biodiesel was used as an additive, blended with the baseline fuel at a 50:1 ratio, making it a 2% biodiesel. Hope this helps. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
outwestjim;1971246; said:
Duramax 2001,

You must be reading our minds...just started the process to become a supporting vendor

Thanks,

--Jim
Jim, I know that there are propriatary(sp?) secrets, but what would you say makes your product stand out in this study? Did you anticipate good results? When you selected the blend for your product, was there an intent for superior lubricity? One observation when bottling the additives to be sent to the lab, the Opti-lube products were a lot "thicker" and dark in color than any others. Like thin molasses(sp?). Just curious. Congrats again on your good results.
One more question if I can, The Summer blend runs at 1 0z. per tank, and the XPD runs at 13 oz. per tank, yet the results were similar. So what is the extra volume for? Convenience of the 1 oz per tank summer blend and the price compared to the XPD seems to outweigh the slightly better results of the XPD. Thanks. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #123 ·
Stumpalump;1972887; said:
http://www.wholeenergy.ca/why.html
Looks like Canada is sugesting bioD be added to fuel also and also the US EPA.
Thanks for the "Possitive" contribution.
This is a piece of your link...

"The price of petroleum is rising. This trend will continue as petroleum is a finite resource. The price of biodiesel is stable compared to petroleum. Also, Biodiesel is now competitively priced compared to conventional diesel fuel."

The irony here, not to be a party pooper, is that it TAKES a lot of energy (fossil fuels ) to MAKE this form of fuel. There is a term called "Net energy" which is the amount of energy PRODUCED minus the amount of energy it takes to produce it. I don't think any form of crop fares well in this category. We have been SPOILED by highly concentrated and VERY CHEAP fossil fuels. And yes, they are running out fast. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
HBruns;1973321; said:
My best shot at answering this is "We can't know".

If Opti-lube did submit a ringer, then I'm betting this would be revealed some time in the future with a resulting crater where their reputation used to be.


As it stands today, the information tells us they have the lion's share of the top-performing products.

The only way to definitively refute Spicer's current results would be to re-run the whole test series.


PS - I'm still a bit stunned that Stanadyne's dedicated lubricity product didn't do better in a lubricity test :wtf:
It is clearly stated in the content of the study that the Opti-Lube XPD was NOT acquired as the others were. All products were acquired over the counter or internet sales EXCEPT the Opti-Lube XPD and biodiesel. The XPD was not being sold yet and was in a trial phase. I agreed to test it but made it clear that I would have to give it an *. I won't imply nor do I believe it was spiked. It was a test sample. Mr. Miller would need to say whether the marketed product is the same as the tested product. Not for me to guess at. It also is many TIMES the price of the Summer blend. Most people don't want an additive at over $4 a dose.

"To ask a previous question a little better. Would the relative ranking of the various additives be about the same for refinery treated fuel?"
The answer is probably, or maybe. Truthfully this is a better question for the real experts. There are known cases of additives that don't compliment each other. It seems that biodiesel, though, has a universally possitive effect on all diesel fuels at even lower doses than the 2% we tested. SPICER
 

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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
Per the request of Nick, we are going to close this thread and permanantly archive it in the Sticky's. The new thread will be called "Lubricity Additive Study Discussion". The discussion will go on, just in a different thread, so keep talking! SPICER
 
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