Automotive fuels and oils
The days when motorists faced a simple question at the pumps – “regular or unleaded?” – are long gone. Savvy drivers and the environmentally aware can now choose from a growing range of fuels. The same is true of motor oils, or lubricants, which come in many sophisticated varieties.
Fuels with lower carbonIn addition to our premium range of gasoline, we offer motorists in some locations these lower-carbon options:
Gasoline (petrol) and diesel with an advanced mix of detergents added to them can help keep an engine clean. This means it will run more efficiently and produce fewer emissions. Our BP Ultimate range is available in more than 12 countries worldwide.
The term ‘biofuels’ covers all liquid fuels made from organic plant material. Ethanol and biodiesel are the most widely available biofuels today. Ethanol is made from corn, wheat, sugarcane or other plants. It can be blended into gasoline according to local standards (typically up to 5-10%) for use in standard automobile engines. Biodiesel is made from processed vegetable oils and can also be blended with fossil fuels according to local standards (typically up to 5-7%) for use in diesel cars. At these low levels biofuels can be used in vehicles without any modifications and with no significant impact on the vehicle’s performance.Although, like gasoline, biofuels emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the effect is partially offset by the CO2 the plants absorb as they grow. As such, biofuels can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
LPG can create less harmful emissions than gasoline or diesel. It has to be stored in a special tank under pressure. As an automotive fuel it is gaining popularity in Italy, the Netherlands and other countries.
Compressed natural gas
CNG vehicles give off about 85% less carbon monoxide and non-methane hydrocarbon emissions than conventional cars. So far CNG is mainly used for buses and commercial vehicles, but car makers are working on viable vehicle designs for the average motorist.
We have a 40% stake in the first natural gas vehicles company in Egypt.
A smoother running engineWhen two surfaces move against each other there is always a force present known as friction. Over time, friction causes wear damage to both surfaces, as well as potentially dangerous heat. In a car engine, if friction is not controlled the wear and heat will quickly cause the engine to seize. Lubrication is essential.
Modern motor oils have two basic ingredients: base oil and additives. The base oil usually comes from crude oil. It forms a liquid film between the engine’s moving parts to protect them against wear and tear.
Additives can do lots of different things. For example, detergents and dispersants help keep an engine clean by sweeping up contaminants before they build up in the engine’s parts. Anti-wear additives can reduce wear in parts of the engine that are subjected to extreme temperatures and pressures.