Natural Gas Engine Oils Sees Increased Demand
Natural gas (methane) is quickly becoming the favorite alternative fuel with heavy duty fleet operators due to its cost, availability and protection of the environment. In fact, when SAE magazine asked its online readers which "alternative fuel" will be most prevalent in medium and heavy duty fleet vehicles in 2020, the majority voted for natural gas.
With this in mind, many fleet operators are now considering the addition of diesel-conversion engine platforms. Once an engine is converted to natural gas, it's important to use lubricants that are well suited for the application. Lubricants for natural gas-fired engines must protect against a variety of different conditions such as:
- Natural gas burns hotter
- Improved oxidation control
- Balanced ash content to prevent deposits and reduce valve recession
- Exhaust after-treatment protection
- Must be very shear-stable
For a "dual fuel" diesel engine conversion, where the fuel injector is replaced with an injector that uses diesel as the pilot fuel, Phillips 66 Lubricants recommends a premium CJ-4 diesel engine oil such as tri-branded Guardol ECT® or Kendall Super-D XA® with Liquid Titanium® protection additive.
In the second type of conversion, the engine head is modified so the diesel fuel injector is replaced with a spark plug and other ignition components. Since the engine will burn 100% natural gas (methane), a special oil with additional properties is required. Tri-branded Guardol® NG 15W-40 and Kendall Super-D® NG are the best available products for this application.