As the saying goes, the devil really is in the details, and as Shell have not let it slip our minds, all fuels are not the same. The reason being precisely what the first quip extolls, that all the additives and engineering behind it make Shell fuels stand out.
Not one to let their words sweat it out, Shell allowed the media an exclusive tour of their refinery in Port Dickson for a sneak peek behind the scenes of their fuel technology and how every aspect of the process blends together to produce the renowned Shell fuels and its different formulations.
With a century of history offering fuel solutions to motorists the world over, Shell has an upper hand in the fuelling sector and they were keen to share some of those advantages with the motoring community just to prove the advantages of their fuels.
None could have explained it best as Azman Ismail, Shell Malaysia Trading’s Managing Director, as he begun to lay it out in regards to Shell fuels and strategy, “The fuels landscape in Malaysia has undergone a number of changes over the past year. Now more than ever, an understanding of what is the right fuel for your car or driving behaviour, is key as motorists have a choice of purchasing RON95, RON97 or even the country’s only premium fuel Shell V Power Racing. Shell has organised this fuels engagement to provide journalists who speak of fuels, an opportunity to raise any queries they have on fuels. It is our hope that we are able to help our journalists develop a deeper understanding of fuels differentiation.”
Shell has over 46,000 Shell-branded stations in over 90 countries throughout the world, with more than 900 of those on our very shores. Keeping to their mantra that all fuels are not the same, Shell continuously invests in research and development of fuel tech to ensure that the customers benefit from the latest breakthrough in fuel tech.
There is perhaps no better way to demonstrate the unique qualities of Shell fuels that through the hands of Dr Fuel himself, Eric Holthusen. A walking encyclopedia on fuels and everything else that gets listed along with it, Holthusen demonstrated the characteristics of Shell’s unique friction modification technology, ‘FMT.’ By utilising some specially developed tools, Holthusen was able to explain in further details the FMT that is formulated to act as a lubricant that clings to the metal surfaces of the cylinder wall and reduces friction, allowing the engine to and its internal components to move about more freely.
Not only does this prolong engine life apart from reducing wear and tear, it also cuts down energy loss that would be used to overcome the friction. One of the most notable feedbacks from that would be a lighter engine and increased responsiveness.
Being a premium formulated technology; FMT is only available in both Shell V Power 97 and the higher rated Shell V Power Racing.
Apart from reducing friction along the cylinder walls, V Power 97 has also been specially formulated with a cleaning additive that prevents the build-up of deposits on the intake and valves that would otherwise lead to a less than perfect seal. Furthermore, not only does V Power 97 prevent the build-up of deposits, it can also remove previously built-up deposits, giving the engine a sort of flush treatment.
Of course, there is no better way to learn about fuels than to actually get behind the wheel of a car running on said petrol. Shell actually filled up the cars with V Power 97 and the journalists got the opportunity to drive those cars all the way to the Shell refinery in Port Dickson. This was the perfect chance to get a first-hand feel of the V Power 97 fuel that is formulated to offer improved performance in vehicles. Running a higher RON rating, the V Power 97 fuel makes a marked difference in vehicles running knock sensor systems as it allows the engine to adjust to the optimum efficiency and run at its absolute best.
At the refinery, Shell Refining Company’s Managing Director, Rozano Saad, engaged the members of the media on an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the refinery to better understand how Shell fuels are different and the resulting improvements to vehicles that they can provide.
Every one of Shell’s fuels come with additives that give them added qualities such as the FuelSave 95 and Shell Diesel with Fuel Economy Formula that reduce fuel consumption while the V Power 97 and V Power Racing that are more performance oriented.
While it seems pretty straightforward to us motorists, fuels, and on a larger scale, the engines that are powered by them, are complex systems functioning as a well-balanced symbiote. Therefore, a clearer understanding of engines and the combustion process will lead to better fuels being developed that, at the end of the day, benefit us motorists in return.
There are a plethora of factors that come into play that determine the outcome of the fuel. Crude oil composition, refinery streams, refinish technology and performance additives, among other factors, must be blended perfectly to achieve a fuel that is a s unique as Shell’s offerings.
On a motorsports scale, Shell has been actively involved for a long period of time. Plus, with the added strain and demands of motorsports, Shell has to ensure that its fuels are up to the mark to provide the racing machine with all that it can give.
Over 200 constituent parts are mixed together with surgeon-like precision in a petrol recipe. And just as Shell mentions in their TV advertisements, almost all the components that are used in Formula One fuels can be found in the same fuel that you’re pumping into your car at the nearest Shell station.
Of course there are some differences between the fuels used in motorsports and the stuff you pump into your car, with the majority of it being to cope with the rigours and extremities of motorsports, but essentially, there isn’t a world of difference between the two fuels.
As we mentioned earlier, all the knowledge gained from its motorsports involvement is transferred back to the road users by being implemented in the regular fuels that are available at all Shell stations nationwide. In fact, the very same scientists that work on Ferrari’s Formula One team are deployed in the development of the Shell V Power fuels, truly bridging the gap between the track and the road.
Shell takes its motorsports involvement very seriously. At every stop on the calendar, a Shell fuel lab will be set up with the Ferrari Formula One team to enable the Shell scientists to have live analysis of the fuels as well as the lubricants as it goes into the car.
As the consumer, we also need to be properly educated on selecting the right fuel grade for our vehicle. While it can be as simple as just pumping it in, or as the TV spots used to say, angkat, tolak, masuk, picit, and driving off, the truth is that selecting a higher octane rated fuel could yield better results in the long run for you and your vehicle.
Just the same, the direct opposite could be the case as well sometimes and by switching to a lower octane rated fuel, you could end up saving quite a bit of coin.
Take for instance, if your car doesn’t run a knock sensor, you won’t be extracting any more performance out of it by pumping in a high octane rated fuel.
It was explained during the tour that mixing the Shell fuels was alright and wouldn’t damage the engine in any way. Just remember that both fuels met or exceed the minimum RON requirement for the engine.
So the next time your fuel warning light comes on, keep in mind that all fuels are not the same and try to look out for a Shell station to fill it up.
For more information on Shell fuels, visit Shell in Malaysia - Malaysia.
Pictures: Shell Malaysia
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