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Design and Development of a New Landfill/Biogas Engine Oil for Modern, High BMEP Natural Gas Engines

[+] Author Affiliations
John D. Palazzotto, Joseph Timar, Jr., Alan T. Beckman

Chevron Oronite Company, LLC, Richmond, CA

Paper No. ICEF2011-60079, pp. 999-1008; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference
  • ASME 2011 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference
  • Morgantown, West Virginia, USA, October 2–5, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4442-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The use of higher brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) engines in landfill or alternative gas applications has increased dramatically in the past few years. Operators are using these engines due to their ability to provide lower emissions coupled with improved economics for the end user due to the higher density or power output capability compared to an engine of similar size and displacement. Landfill gas (LFG) quality can vary greatly as well as the contaminant level due to the composition of the landfill. This environment poses unique challenges to both the engine and the engine oil, including shorter oil drain intervals, corrosive attack of engine components, with increased piston and combustion chamber deposits, to name but a few. Maintaining longer oil drain intervals minimizes unscheduled oil drains which can decrease the overall cost of the landfill operation. High BMEP engines provide higher power output but at the cost of increased maintenance in severe fuel applications. Excessive piston crown and combustion chamber deposits from landfill gas impurities can have a deleterious effect on engine emissions, which may lead to the inability to meet local emissions regulations. Engine lubricants must provide adequate oil life as well as minimizing deposit related issues that may negatively impact regular scheduled maintenance cycles, thus reducing engine downtime and increasing revenues. Traditionally, the approach has been that oils formulated for landfill applications used excess base reserve to sufficiently neutralize the acids being formed during the combustion process. Unfortunately, this approach increases the sulfated ash content of the lubricant which lends itself to increased ash deposits and negatively impacts the combustion dynamics of these high BMEP engines, which are sensitive to ash deposition. Based on requests for a longer life lubricant without compromising deposit control characteristics in serve landfill applications, a new product development project was specifically targeted for late model, high BMEP engines, which are prone to detonation and sensitive to ash related deposits. This paper presents the development bench testing, and proof of performance field evaluations of a new generation, low ash landfill gas engine oil.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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