TORONTO, Ont. — Petro-Canada is developing a new oil formulated for natural gas engines, which will be available beginning in June.
John Pettingill of Petro-Canada Lubricants gave maintenance managers a preview of the new Duron GEO LD 15W-40 engine oil at this week’s Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminars.
Natural gas engines require a special oil, because they operate at higher temperatures.
“Higher operating temperatures are something you need to think about” when operating natural gas engines, Pettingill warned.
Natural gas engine oils require additional nitration and oxidation control, he said. Nitrogen, at high temperatures, has a thickening effect on the lubricant and can cause gelling and varnishing.
“That makes it hard for that oil to pump through the engine and if you can’t pump the oil, you won’t get the protection you need for the engine,” Pettingill said.
Soot control is less of an issue with natural gas engines, because the engine produces more ideal combustion conditions resulting in a more complete burn, and less soot, than traditional diesel engines.
The trend in diesel engine oils has been to reduce ash content, but natural gas engines require a very specific level of sulfated ash, because it offers valve protection characteristics.
The new natural gas engine oil will offer ideal flow, without much foaming or evaporation, with an optimized sulfated ash level for natural gas, Pettingill said.
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