Nitrogen in Gasoline?


#1

I noticed a national chain of gas stations is advertising nitrogen in their gas? What benefit is that supposed to have?


#2

I think it’s supposed to sell more gas.


#3

It maintains the inflation pressure in your tires.

;-))

Seriously, however, here is a link to Shell’s page regarding this new formulation:
http://www.shell.us/home/content/usa/aboutshell/media_center/news_and_press_releases/2009/nitrogen_030209.html

I have been a steady Shell customer for several years, due to the fact that their stations are the only “Top Tier” gas stations in my area, and there is a Shell station near me that has the lowest prices in the area for name-brand gas. Sort of a win-win.

If the new formulation has even better detergency, that is good. However, just be sure that you don’t pay an inflated price for this gas (no pun intended)!


#4

You may be confusing this with nirogen in the tires they sell or service! Nitrogen is an inert gas; it neither burns nor supports combustion. Gasoline is a hydrocarbon with hydrogen, and carbon making up most of the molecule’s compostion.

Personally I’ve never heard of nitrogen in gasoline.


#5

Shell oil is using nitrogen enhanced detergents. Here’s an article:


#6

Scrubbing bubbles for my engine? Cool! :wink:

Thanks for the links and info.


#7

I read the blog and it definitely appears to be intentionally vague and misleading. Shame on you Shell!


#8

Start watching more TV. I saw an ad from Shell about this last night.


#9

The nitrogen they refer to is not elemental N2, the gas that comprises some 78% of the air we breathe. It refers to the atomic nitrogen found in the amines commonly used as detergents in gasoline. Shell’s “nitrogen enriched” terminolgy simply means it has more detergents.


#10

Shells latest TV adds merely prove TV ads are aimed at a 70-IQ, 6th grade education level…Anyone who believes “Top Tier” gasoline is any different than “Bottom Tier” gasoline also proves this point…It’s all marketing hype.

I drive a Crown Vic with 148K miles burning the cheapest unbranded gasoline I can find and it has never missed a beat. Gasoline that meets government standards for “Unleaded Gasoline” is all your car needs. If you think your Turbo-Lambo requires exotic gasoline imported from Italy, go for it, but Hess regular works fine for me…


#11

I got some information on this topic from a brochure that I picked up today at the Shell station.

The new formulation is apparently directed mostly at the newer Direct Injection technology that will be much more common in the next generation of cars, due to the greater fuel economy that direct injection offers. The placement of direct injectors means that they are exposed to far higher heat than injectors placed in the intake manifold, and Shell claims that this increased heat and pressure will “result in a breakdown of some other cleaning agents”, and that the breakdown of these cleaning agents will cause deposits on the injectors. They also claim that the new formulation is more effective on conventional fuel injectors and intake valves than the older formulation.

Whether this is hype or not, I am paying ~1.90 per gallon for premium gas at my Shell station which is a bit lower than what people are paying at other stations in my area, and is FAR lower than what people are paying in other parts of the country. If it does turn out to be advantageous, I will benefit doubly.


#12

All major gasoline manufacturers/ marketers such Chevron-Texaco, Exxon-Mobil, and Shell, etc have included dispersant additives in the gasolines for years. The are a class of compound known as as polyolefin polyamines. For example, Chevron Techron is a polubutene amine. Amines contain nitrogen atoms in their molecules. That or something very similar ( polypropene amine?) is the source of the nitrogen in the Shell gasoline. It’s really rather comical to see how an ad agency managed to convince Shell’s product technologists that it would make sense to refer to the fuel as nitrogen-enhanced on that basis. Talk about a stretch. I can imagine a lot of eyes rolling when their Averprom people thought it would be a good idea read gimmick.

Don’t get me wrong, these additives are essential to help reduce and control the formation and deposition of combustion and degradation products from building up on fuel injectors and intake valves. Shell may be using a new version of their traditional additive technology, but to promote it as nitrogen-enhanced is a hoot to anyone who knows the truth.


#13

Ok that makes sense I guess. When I walked into a Shell station I saw the nitrogen hype, the first compound that came into my mind was CH3NO2, they wouldn’t put that in gasoline, would they?


#14

Oil companies have been advertising different elements/compounds that they put in their gasolines for years. In the 1950’s, Shell had TCP (tricallo-tricresso-phosphate). I’m not certain what it did, but our neighbor, who worked for Standard Oil at the time said that TCP stood for Tom Cat you know what. Later, there was Super Shell with platformate. I assume that this was some platinum compound. D-X gasoline (I think D-X merged with Sunoco) was sold with boron–an element. Standard Oil was a little more creative with its chemical additive: M2PG. This stood for more miles per gallon. I have never been able to make this compound in the chemistry lab. I think that Sunoco added a dye to give the gasoline a bluish tinge. I think this improved the mileage on a Chevrolet blue-flame 6 so that it would keep up with the newly introduced Chevrolet V-8 in the mid 1950’s.


#15

Let’s not forget The Sinclair oil company’s gasoline which it claimed was enriched with Nickel, circa 1963. This was supposed to help protect the valves, IIRC.


#16

Maybe Shell should market its gasoline with nitrogen as the fuel for people who do a lot of night driving.


#17

The FTC got after Shell once before and made it talk more truthfully about stuff it was telling the public. Maybe this just another Shell game.


#18

Jawohl!. Hess. Good German gas. Makes even Fords run better (but not as good as Mercedes ottos made in the Fatherland) because it’s top tier gas. Top tier gas gives better gas mileage as well as making engines run better.


#19

Actually, it sells less Shell gas because it gives better mpg. I got that from the Shell station owner and I believe him because I’ve never known him to lie to me before.


#20

Actually, it is “American” gasoline.

The company founder, Leon Hess, came from Perth Amboy, NJ, albeit a VERY long time ago.
And, Hess is not one of the brands in the Top Tier, or at least it wasn’t in that group the last time that I checked, a couple of months ago.