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04 April 2009

On V-Power Racing Fuel and Shell Model Cars

Shell is currently selling model race cars in conjunction with the F1 races which usually take place in March. There are seven models available. You can buy them at RM6.90 when you buy a minimum RM40.00 of V-Power Racing fuel and/or RM8.90 when you buy a minimum RM40.00 of other types of fuel. The campaign ends on 11th May 2009. (Ref: The Star Business, Shell's Model Cars A Hit Among Consumers, 28th March 2009. URL: http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/3/28/business/3542375)

An advert on the model cars. Thanks to user OgilvyShell@YouTube.


What is V-Power? I've sometimes bought it and admittedly it does give my gas guzzler a bit of a kick. From Shell's website:

Shell V-Power is a high-octane fuel (98 RON) designed to help improve the performance of many modern engines with adaptive spark timing capacity.

It is helped by Friction Modification Technology (FMT) which is formulated to reduce friction between the cylinder and piston rings, a critical area of the engine where lubrication is difficult to achieve. FMT is designed to help the engine turn more freely, and so support more efficient energy transfer from the fuel to the wheels.

Powerful cleansing

While driving, deposits can develop around a car engine’s inlet valves, impeding the air flow and reducing power. Shell V-Power is designed to reduce the build-up of deposits and help remove existing ones, enabling the fuel to burn more efficiently. This effective deposit control can help keep a new engine running like new for longer. Shell V-Power can also help rejuvenate older engines.

Friction Modification Technology

Shell V-Power also contains our Friction Modification Technology (FMT), whose special components are designed to coat the cylinder wall. Friction reduction between the cylinder wall and the piston inside the engine helps to increase the total energy delivered to the wheels, to aid overall driving performance.

High Octane

Shell V-Power is also a higher octane fuel (98 RON). This enhanced octane rating is designed to help provide improvements in power delivery and to help drivers achieve enhanced performance from octane responsive engines. And even vehicles designed for standard octane levels may benefit.

(Source: Shell in Malaysia, Shell V-Power. URL: http://www.shell.com/home/Framework?siteId=my-en&FC2=/home/au-en/html/iwgen/leftnavs/zzz_lhn3_3_1.html&FC3=/au-en/tailored/shell_for_motorists/fuels/v-power_pkg/tech_spec/tech_spec.html. Accessed: 5th April 2009.)

So far it reads like a promo without much technical details. We only know that it is a RON 98 higher octane fuel with FMT (Friction Modification Technology). A Singaporean car enthusiast website, OneShift, reported in 2006 that the present V-Power (incorporating FMT) is the third generation "of high performance fuel introduced by Shell since the Formula Shell XO was launched in 1999". V-Power in Singapore is "processed at the Pulau Bukom Refinery Complex in Singapore, Shells biggest crude distillation refinery in the world". (Ref: OneShift, Shell Launches Its Latest Performance Designer Fuel, 27th March 2006. URL: http://www.oneshift.com/news/news.php?newsid=237) Parts of the report echo the press release from Shell's own website. (Ref: Shell in Singapore, Shell’s New V-Power, Breaking New Frontiers in Performance Fuel Technology. 23rd March 2006. URL: http://www.shell.com/home/content/sg-en/news_and_library/press_releases/2006/shell_vpower_launch_0323.html)

In the highly popular Motor Trader magazine it was reported that:
According to Eric Holthusen, Fuels Technology Manager, Shell Global Solutions (Asia-Pacific Service Centre), the 1% is the only amount which the FIA (the motorsports authority governing F1) allows to vary so that the fuel can be optimised for different conditions.

“FIA rules require 99% of the fuel’s formulation, ie its components, be the same as what is available to the public and the 1% is where we can alter the fuel characteristics to suit specific racing conditions such as humidity levels at each track. How we do this is proprietary technology which can give an edge to Ferrari’s racing cars,” he explained.

For the new V-Power Racing, which Malaysians have the honour of being the first consumers in Asia (excluding Australia) to start using, the formulation has been enhanced with the use of a new hydrocarbon component developed by Shell. This is the Friction Modifier Technology (FMT) which is also a Shell development and Top Secret. Basically, FMT ‘survives’ the superhot combustion process and can reduce friction which causes power loss. The result is improved acceleration as well as less deposit formation.

(Ref: Malaysian Motor Trader, Shell V-Power Racing. 24th November 2006. URL: http://www.motortrader.com.my/NUS/articles/article_712/page_m.asp)

I wonder how in November 2006, it is possible that Malaysians were its "first consumers in Asia" when the same racing fuel was launched in Singapore in March 2006? Further, the same Motor Trader report also stated: "The new Shell petrol continues to have a RON97 octane rating which Tuan Haji Mohzani said is regulated by the government." It is different from Shell's official website which states that V-Power is a RON 98 fuel. But perhaps the fact that the Motor Trader report was dated 2006, should be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, at Formula Student, a website setup by IMechE (The Institution of Mechanical Engineers), the product information sheet for Shell's V-Power(Unleaded) shows that V-Power, as of September 2006, is rated as a RON 99 fuel. A Japanese car website based in the UK reported August 2006 that V-Power was launched in the UK as a RON 99 fuel. (Source: Japmobiles.com, Shell V-Power Petrol. 24th August 2006. URL: http://www.japmobiles.com/news/news_detail.asp?id=245)

In September 2008 MRT Performance, an Australian company that sells tuned up cars, reported that Shell Australia is phasing out RON 100 V-Power Racing Fuel. Shell V-Power (RON 98) would still be made available. (Ref: MRT Performance, Shell Phases Out V-Power Racing Fuel (100 RON). 8th September 2008. URL: http://mrtperformance.com.au/content/view/437/58/)

I find it funny that Shell's V-Power should have so many different RON ratings. Nevertheless the RON rating may not be important. It seems that RON (Research Octane Number) is "not an absolute number but rather a relative value based on accepted standards... In practice octane numbers do not blend linearly. To accommodate this, complex blending calculations employing blending octane numbers as opposed to the values for pure hydrocarbons are routinely employed. There is no universal blending program used industry wide. In fact, for a given oil company, blending calculations that are refinery specific are not uncommon. ... For RON it is well known that increasing the aromatic, iso-/normal ratio and olefin content of gasoline results in significant increases in octane." (RefiningOnline.net, FCC Octane MON Versus RON. URL : http://www.refiningonline.net/EngelhardKB/crep/TCR4_29.htm. Accessed: 5th April 2009)

What is the secret that keeps the V-Power working? It may already be known to petrol industry chemists. But for the ordinary man on the road like me, V-Power is just a powerful fuel to add that "Vroom!" factor to my car. Nevertheless out of curiosity I just decided to check at Google Patents to see if any "friction modification technology" has been patented and assigned to Shell. Here are some of the results:

7 comments:

michael gan said...

I drive an Alfa 145 2.0 litre. Manual says it requires RON95. I used to fill up using Esso Super (RON 97) but still felt some knocking, especially during acceleration. I then changed to Shell V Power Racing and the engine ran smoothly. Today, I filled the tank with a mix of V Power (50%) and the new Unleaded 95 (50%) and everything is fine. Does mixing give me the average of the 2 RONs?

KoDenzell said...

same here my bike yamaha nouvo 135 LC feel knocking after filled petrol Ron 95..so i will add more Ron after mix Octane Booster with Ron 97 become 100 Ron..more performance and smooth engine..if wan Do It Yourself (DIY)..can check website here http://www.ehow.com/how_2284256_own-octane-booster.html

about ur car Alfa 2.0 liter,it should be use ron 95..it a bit waste money mix with shell V-power..as exmple shell v-power is ron 98 and ron 95..it give u 2~3 Ron..like this ron 98 for ur car..so why not try use shell unlead Ron 97?

KoDenzell said...

forget to write..that shell v-power have octane booster that can clean up carbon deposits built up ur old car alfa 2.0..

KoDenzell said...

my bike going smooth engine after i put 5ml of acetone in full tank of 4 liter petrol shell 97 Ron..also it going more Km too..already 2 week using acetone,no side effect on my bike..

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