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BP improves Ultimate petrol and diesel

Fuel for thought: From left, BP Australia CEO Andy Holmes, BP regional technical manager Rachel Johnston and BP fuels technology expert Garry Whitfield at the launch of the new Ultimate in Melbourne this week.

Claims new fuel additive removes carbon build-up and improves fuel consumption

18 Mar 2016

BP AUSTRALIA claims its new Ultimate petrol and diesel fuels remove internal engine deposits, improve fuel consumption and even promote smoother running in diesel engines.

The United Kingdom-based group is in the middle of worldwide roll-out of the new additive, which is found in Ultimate 98 Unleaded and Ultimate Diesel fuels on BP forecourts.

The fuels are the result of five years of laboratory work and 50,000 hours of testing, according to BP Australia chief executive Andy Holmes.

They are already in BP fuel stations around the country and a national marketing program will be launched on Sunday.

“The thing we are really happy about is that this new technology is such a big step forward that it’s going to bust dirt in fewer than two tanks (of petrol),” Mr Holmes said.

“That’s a big step forward.”

Mr Holmes said the 50,000 hours of testing at the company’s technology centre at Pangbourne in the UK was the equivalent of 1.6 million kilometres of on-road testing.

The new fuels are given the dirt-busting properties via an additive, as a lot of fuel sold in Australia by BP is bought from refineries operated by other companies or imported from countries such as Singapore.

“This is patented technology of a cleaning additive that is part of the formulation of our fuel,” said BP Australia regional technical manager Rachel Johnston.

“The molecules in the additive grab onto the deposits that form in your car and will remove those from the critical engine parts and move them into the combustion chamber where they will be burnt quite harmlessly. Over time the deposits will become less and less.”

The marketing material likens the new additive to ravenous piranhas gobbling up the deposits inside an engine.

Ms Johnston said the new Ultimate 98 petrol would have great benefit for older cars, but would also ensure that new cars were able to avoid the build-up of dirt inside the engine and help the vehicle operate as the manufacturer intended for longer.

BP fuels technology expert Garry Whitfield agreed there had been many detergent fuel additives on the market, but said the new BP additive had been designed to keep pace with engine technology.

“I was involved in the first Ultimate trial in 2000 and at that time the engine technology was different,” he said.

“Over the years engine technology has evolved for various reasons and has improved, for example, with direct injection petrol engines, common rail diesel engines, variable injection timing on diesel engines.

“So, with all these new developments, the additive formulations needed to change to keep up. So what we do is modify the additive formulation every five years or so, so the new formulation coming in now is for the next five years and will take care of the new technologies as they come in, such as downsized turbo engines and direct injection petrol engines.”

Mr Whitfield said that BP Australia used to have a special car with a V6 engine with dual-fuel system. One cylinder bank was run on Ultimate and the other on ordinary fuel.

“You could run the engine and see the deposits build up on the regular side but not on the Ultimate side. Then, when you reversed it, Ultimate would clean up the deposits on what was the regular side.”

Mr Holmes said cleaner engines run better and yield more miles per gallon, although he made no specific claims in that regard. It is believed BP will claim fuel consumption improvement in its German marketing campaign.

However, he claimed other benefits as well.

“I have to be careful about comparisons, but when an engine is cleaner, there is more miles per tank.

“And it affects how smooth the engine runs as well. If you actually speak to cabbies in London, they love Ultimate Diesel because it makes their Black Cabs quieter.”

Mr Holmes said the cleaning additive only goes into Ultimate 98 unleaded petrol and Ultimate Diesel. The other petrol BP sells is ordinary petrol.

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