The Real Truth About The API Oil Additives & Fuel Treatments

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The Real Truth About The API Oil Additives & Fuel Treatments

Postby ghr1127 on Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:59 pm

A not widely known is the fact that of every barrel of crude oil that is refined, some 83% of that barrel becomes a motor fuel such as gasoline, diesel, aviation/jet, etc. From that same barrel of crude comes only 1.6% in the form of lubricants with the remaining 15% or so yielding a variety of products from petrochemical feed stocks to tar and asphalt [source: American Petroleum Institute (API)]. In view of this fact, it is simple to see that the 83% fuel yield is the largest source of income to the oil refiner and as such, is the ‘‘life blood’’ of his profits. Keep this foregoing fact in mind as we proceed.
The 1.6% of the yield going to lubricants is in reality a byproduct of the refining process and contributes very little to the refiner’s profits. It must now be understood that simply refining a barrel of crude to get the 1.6% as lubricants is not enough as just the refined lubricant will NOT lubricate properly without what is referred to as the ‘‘additive package’’ (usually no more than 10% by volume) added to the refined lubricant by the oil refiner. The oil refiner then ‘warrants’ his lubricating oil to perform in a ‘satisfactory’ manner in your equipment. This raises the question as to who decides what is ‘satisfactory’ and what is not? By whose definition does the pre-blended lubricant (or fuel for that matter) perform in a ‘satisfactory’ manner? The oil refiners, the equipment manufacturer’s or do you, the equipment owner/user, have any say in how this term is defined? Sorry, but the user of the lubricant or fuel has no input as to what is satisfactory or not. This has already been decided for you by the oil refiner. Now you may ask why the oil refiner doesn’t improve his lubricants and his fuel to the point of ‘superior’ or ‘maximum’ performance. After all, it has long been known that fully formulated lubricants can be measurably improved by simply increasing the pre-blended additive package above the usual 10%. The truth is that the oil refiner has no incentive to improve his lubricants or fuel, and in fact has every reason to resist any improvement to them. What reason does the oil refiner have for this line of thinking? The answer is very simple: Any lubricant, solid or liquid, must be used in a mechanical device for one primary purpose; to make the metal moving parts move easily against each other. Now the better the performance of the lubricant, the easier the metal parts move against each other with less wear taking place. BUT, something else also happens at the same time as a side effect. The easier the metal parts move against each other the less friction you have AND THE LESS ENERGY YOU NEED TO POWER THE MECHANICAL DEVICE. Obvious conclusion - improved lubrication to the point of superior or maximum performance is a direct threat to the refiner’s largest source of income from each barrel of crude - the 83% yield of motor fuel which supplies the energy to power the mechanical device you are trying to lubricate properly.
In addition, why should the refiner increase cost by improving lubricants when it is really only a byproduct of his refining process and already contributes very little to income? From this standpoint, there is no valid reason why they should. The equipment manufacturers have also been aware of the foregoing truths for some time but they have chosen to stay in the background and say nothing. Why? This also has a very simple answer. Lubrication in a superior or maximum manner first of all decreases friction and wear. What does decreased wear mean to the equipment manufacturer? Obvious answer - reduced sales of new equipment and reduced sales of replacement parts. Again, improved lubrication is a direct threat to the income of the equipment manufacturer. Is there any doubt as to why the oil refining industry (and to some degree the OEM industry) began, many years ago, a dedicated effort to suppress and discredit the advanced technology of fuel and lubricant additives which you may yourself add to what you have purchased from them?
In a typical internal combustion engine, and almost all other mechanical devices, 30-50% of the energy produced is lost through internal friction. If this friction could be substantially reduced, less energy would be needed to produce power, resulting in reduced fuel consumption, reduced wear, lower maintenance costs, reduced harmful emissions (HC, NOx, CO and CO2), substantial increase in fuel economy and up to double the useful life of the engine and drive train.
Additives or additive packages installed by the equipment owner/user are commonly referred to as ‘aftermarket additives’. But, how many times have you heard them called ‘snake oil’ or some other derogatory and insulting name? Probably more times than you can remember and by now, you should realize the origin of such names, why they are used and the fact that there is no truth in them at all.
Now let us discuss specifically the aftermarket additives, what they are and what they do. As of early 1996, there are currently in excess of some 200 different brands of aftermarket fuel and lubricant additives available on the market with some being sold by Ford, GM, etc. All make a wide range of claims as to the benefit of their use and most of these claims are probably true to some extent. However, 99.9% of these additives are simply more of the same additive package initially blended into the fuel or lubricant by the oil refiner and we have already brought out the fact that the refiner does not put enough additive into their fuels and lubricants to begin with. Now putting more of the same additives into the fuel or lubricant is beneficial (assuming the marketer of the additive does not instruct you to overdo it). But, considering what you pay for the additional additive is it really cost effective? Probably not with the possible exception of fuel injector cleaner (needed because the fuel you buy does not have enough detergent additives in it to begin with). As we all know, dirty injectors cause excessive fuel consumption. This is good for the oil refiner - as he sells more fuel and makes more money.
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