Gasoline Detergency, Vehicle Maintenance and Ethanol Integration

Clean gasoline and diesel fuels mean clean engines. Clean engines mean better vehicle performance and better environmental air quality. What are clean gasoline and diesel fuels?

Gasoline detergency and octane goes hand in hand. As soon as you drive your new vehicle off the lot, critical internal engine components are getting dirty. The burning of gasoline in your engine creates dirty, gummy deposits that cause a loss of performance known as octane requirement increase - ORI. As deposits build up on intake valves, in the combustion chamber and the tops of pistons, the compression ratio of the engine is raised. This in turn increases the amount of octane the engine needs. A new vehicle with a regular grade octane requirement of 87 might have an octane requirement as high as 91 after the first 5,000 - 15,000 miles of driving.
The engine control system senses this change in ORI and reduces the performance of the vehicle. This situation is especially true of some major brands and most discount non-branded gasoline that is sold with the lowest concentration of detergent additives allowed by the EPA. This gasoline is known as EPA LAC- lowest additive concentrate gasoline.
These deposits can be reduced to a minimum or eliminated with gasoline detergents that clean to produce little or no deposits and zero ORI. If average vehicle octane requirements can drop several octane numbers with "keep clean gasoline" it is reasonable to believe that regular octane grade gasoline can be reduced by several octane numbers from the normal 87 octane. This octane reduction in regular grade gasoline would greatly increase the amount of available gasoline and is known as "octane optmization."

An interesting side note to the EPA LAC story that required a certain amount of detergent additives be used in gasoline since 1996 is-the level of detergency in gasoline is about half of what it was before the EPA mandate. Many suppliers found the EPA engine test used to certify the lowest amount of additive a supplier could use-EPA LAC- was easy to pass with the gasoline they were already supplying to the market. The amount of detergent additives used in US gasoline has been reduced an estimated 50% since EPA LAC gasoline hit the market. 

 We need fundamental change to stabilize the gasoline markets. fuelguruTM recommends developing:
* A standardized gasoline with an optimized octane rating as well as zero octane requirement increase detergency
* A sound plan for the integration of ethanol. The current method of adding ethanol to gasoline is splash blending at the oil terminal and is very costly. fuelguruTM proposes reacting ethanol with refinery gases to produce ETBE instead.

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