Natural Gas engine oil

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by cyberpriusII, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    Apparently I am behind the times....I did not know that Shell started making synthetic engine oil from natural gas some six years ago and claim it is superior to synthetic oils made from crude base oils -- as well as cheaper.

    Shell puts pioneering natural gas-based motor oil on store shelves | Fuel Fix

    What's the thought on it? Last oil change I used Mobil synthetic because I got five quarts for $8. But if the Shell products are better --or at least as good--I think I will go with them, unless I find another deal on Mobil.
    kris
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    To some extent, hydrocarbons are hydrocarbons. You can take long chains and break them down to the length needed as with recycled plastic, or you can take short ones (natural gas) and glue them together until they are long enough. Both of these activities require some work, so it's mostly an economics game for who has the cheapest method for getting there.

    I'm not ready to suggest that one is better than the other. I've used them interchangeably in several cars and small engines; I've seen nothing to suggest that the end results are any different based on the raw material source.

    Pennzoil platinum is gas-sourced, my briggs & stratton generator doesn't care. I only picked it because that one needs 15W-30 and the price was good for the single quart bottle.

    A 5-quart jug for $8 would get my attention. It's unusual to see anything under $23/5qt in 0W-20 in my neck of the woods.
     
  3. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    I liked the idea a lot.

    They seemed a little weak on the Noack volatility test/scale maybe because of the small (molecule) starting material, CH4.

    moto g(7) power ?
     
  4. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    If you are fortunate to have access to Costo you can get their Kirkland Brand 0W-20 2 - 5 qt jugs for $29.99 or $14.50 a jug. They had a sale recently that had 2 jugs of 0W-20 for $25 or $12.50 a jug. They are are also offering a $10 rebate on Mobil 1 products.

    The website implies they ship if you are a member. I have not used this as my local Walmart sells SuperTech 0W-20 in 5 gallon jugs for $15. Have used SuperTech in all my vehicles for the last 6 years - after 6 months or 7500 miles it's going in the oil recycle barrel anyway. We have two vehicles under warranty so have to follow their 7,500 mile recommendations.



    https://www.costco.com/motor-oil.html
     
  5. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I'm most of two hours from the nearest, so the wallyworld 15 minutes up the road generally has the best local price. However they are often completely out of supertech in modern light weights. Virtually impossible to get 5W-20 there for our other car. Sometimes Bezos has the better deal and I know what I'm getting without leaving the house.
     
  6. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Mobil 1 AP is the oil from Walmart for me.

    moto g(7) power ?
     
  7. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Some years ago Mobil-1 was originally synthetic but Castrol started using the word synthetic for more advanced dino oils. Big law suit, and Castrol won. So "synthetic" lost its meaning thanks to the lawyers.

    There could be some merit to better quality for true synthetics. The big issue I think is how long the oil retains its viscosity without breaking down. But since we tend to change our oil fairly often, not sure it matters. If you could see A1/B1 rating on a 0W-20 that would be unusual good to be able to hold that low level of viscosity steady over long oil life..
     
    #7 wjtracy, Feb 1, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
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  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Fortunately it regained a fair bit of meaning with modern low viscosity oil. Apparently you can't simply refine natural petroleum into a useful base stock for 0W-20; the stock must be synthesized.
     
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  9. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Well, I am not a lubes expert, but I am thinking you can indeed make 0w-20 from advanced processed dino oils. True syntetics are quite rare talking stuff like Royal Purple and maybe Motrol (SIC).
     
  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Fortunately I never had an engine that cared one way or the other. I just happened to notice one day that you can't actually buy 0W-20 that isn't also synthetic, and I was curious enough to look up an explanation fit for the lay wrench such as myself. I've got zero brand allegiance in that product category. If it's got the right API rating, the right viscosity and the right price, I use it.
     
  11. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Honda has two 0W-20 synthetic versions....

    moto g(7) power ?
     
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I believe Group IV(true synthetic) oils have been made from natural gas for longer than that. At least, they could have been. They can also be made from petroleum, so it comes down to economics over whether they actually were. Shell only started marketing the fact they were using NG recently.

    Group IV oils are better than Group III's(highly refined petroleum oil) in some regards. Mainly in terms of resisting heat break down, which could mean longer service life. But we consumers don't have any way knowing how much Group IV is in a synthetic oil, if any, for the most part. 0w, and maybe Castrol Syntec imported from Germany, is the exception.
    My Costco only sells quart bottles by the case. No Kirkland brand, and no 0w, even with the Mobil 1. Which is odd considering how many cars call for 0w these days.

    Supertech is now available in 0w16, but only 5 qt jugs. I had wanted just a quart for topping off.

    My Wally Worlds are well stocked, except for when I actually needed the 0w20 Supertech. I ended up with Mobil 1 15k mile extended and have never looked back. The price per 5000 miles is about the same. So savings on filters, though I considering going to a 10k mile interval for them.

    Read years ago that 0w wasn't possible because of the viscosity index. Petro motor oil base is made to the cold temp viscosity, and viscosity modifiers are added to get the hot temp viscosity. Synthetics are made the other way; base to hot temp with modifiers added get thecold temp.

    Can't say how true that is today with the blending of the two, but I think it is a good bet that 0w will use more Group IV than the brand's 5w.
     
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  13. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I am guessing Shell is talking about making lubes out of Fischer Tropsch products, which I would be foggy on history of doing that. Originally synthetic lubes was more of a chemicals process. So possibly yet another meaning of "synthetic". In the end what really matters is the performance and the specs.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    One negative about DIY oil changes is the myriad (nearly) empty motor oil bottles it produces.

    A few years back I talked to the Service Manager of our local Toyota dealership, and now buy my oil in bulk from them: bring my own bottle (a 10 liter No-Spill gas container). When doing oil changes, I catch the used oil with a largish funnel feeding into a similar 5 liter container. Walk that down a trail and pour it into nearby quck-lube place used-oil collection tank.

    Very cheap too, last purchase was nine liters of Toyota 0W20 (bulk) for $25.20 CDN.
     
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  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    You're adequately confident about what is IN the dealer's bulk tank?
     
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  16. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Re Eco: I use the 5-qt jug Mobil-1 and put the used oil in the empty jug, and then I drive over to our recycle center and pour out the oil, and I guess the used plastic jug then goes to our trash-to-steam (incinerator). Used oil I think goes to cement manufacture, which is energy intensive. I have a few 1-qt bottles I reuse to have smaller bottles.
     
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  17. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    If you find another oil deal like the above, please PM or post so that others might benefit also.
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yes.

    Besides Toyota 0W20, I also buy Toyota 5W20 (conventional), for our daughter's PIlot. They have a very accurate metering system too: just punch in the volume, and it stops level with the marks on my container.
     
  19. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    It is all a chemical process.;)

    I think the important take away for the public is that synthetic doesn't mean not from fossil fuels. Though there are a few renewable motor oils and lubricants available; made from esters of vegetable oils.

    High-Performance Renewable Base Oils for Industrial Lubricants | Department of Energy
    Products – Biosynthetic
    Renewable Lubricants | High Performance Engine Oils
    Synthetic Fully Certified Renewable Engine Oils | Novvi

    I'm guessing the last two links are buying materials from Biosynthetic. No 0w oils available in the store of the site with one, though, but that seems to be more because of their market than technology.

    A chart from years ago showed that half of used oil was burned; likely for heat, energy, or shipping. I've taken some to a garage that used it in a furnace. Some gets refined, but I don't know how the economics works out in relation to crude.
     
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  20. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I think I've now seen 2 separate initiatives to advertise a certain motor oil was being made from reprocessed used motor oil. Neither lasted long on the market. No indication that the stuff wasn't any good, but it didn't sell well enough to keep the shelf space. I know I used it in our Hyundai for a year or so, half the car's life and 80k miles ago. Couldn't have been that bad, right?

    Some of the waste oil I drop off at garages is without question going into their heating system and being burnt in a relatively low temp unregulated burner. I don't love that. So I mostly drop at places downwind.
     
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