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Fuels & Lubricants Discussion all about Fuels & Lubricants. synthetic oil, conventional oil, brands, change intervals, diesel grades, gelling and such debated items like that. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed. This forum is NOT for the discussion of biodiesel and other alternative fuels.

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Old April 25th, 2001, 17:40   #1
ittrad
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Default Canadian vs. American diesel

OK, I have read here many times before that European diesel is the nectar of the diesel gods and Canadian and US diesel is something strained from a cesspool.

So why is it that every time I fill up in the US, my car smokes and every time I fill up in Canada it doesn't? I thought it was a matter of highway driving vs. city or maybe just one bad batch, but it's starting to show a pattern.

I have filled up in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York. Each time, the car smokes heavily under heavy acceleration and a fair bit under normal acceleration. With Sunoco or Sunys diesel locally (Ottawa) I really have to try to get the car to smoke even a little bit.

Is Canadian diesel better? With the number of diesels I see around here (only saw one TDI over a three day trip in the US while I routinely see 20 or more a day in Ottawa) is it possible that we just have better fuel? Is there some study to back up the claim by many forum members that Canadian diesel is as bad as US diesel?

Jamie
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Old April 25th, 2001, 17:59   #2
SkyPup
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Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

Yes, Canada has the worst, a little worse than the US even and that really sux bad.

Just type under search "Canada Diesel" on this fuel forum for the bonafide answer.
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Old April 25th, 2001, 18:32   #3
banzai
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: East Overshoe, ME
TDI(s): NB TDI
Fuel Economy: 47 all the time
Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

American diesel tastes better!
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Old April 25th, 2001, 19:23   #4
SkyPup
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Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

Overall, Canadian fuels tend to have low density, low viscosity, and lighter distillation characteristics than those used in the United States, and are among the worst lubricity fuels in the world. Diesel fuel No. 1, as used for much of the year in Canada, is broadly similar to the kerosene fuels that caused durability problems in military vehicles, municipal buses, and aviation equipment.
Even prior to the introduction of 500ppm-sulfur diesel fuel, Canada had reported problems with reduced equipment life. These failures were typically associated with winter grade diesel fuels, particularly when they were used in warmer conditions.

500ppm sulfur fuels have been available in Canada since the 1980s, and a maximum sulfur content of 500 ppm was mandated in 1994. Fleet testing repeatedly demonstrated catastrophic pump failure in less than 500 miles of operation on Canadian fuel. In 1997, Canada modified its low-sulfur diesel fuel specification to address the lubricity of winter fuels - those having a viscosity below 1.9 cSt at 40C or less and a cloud point of -30C or lower. A fuel supplier can "qualify" its fuel using one of several options, ranging from a field test to pump rig tests to the HFRR or BOCLE laboratory scale test. A fuel supplier must use lubricity additives if the fuel fails the selected test.

The primary sources of sulfur in diesel fuel are the sulfur-containing compounds which occur naturally in crude oil. Depending on the source, crude oil contains anywhere from fractions of a percent of sulfur, such as less than 0.05 weight percent (500 ppm) to as much as several percent. The average amount of sulfur in crude oil refined in the U.S. is about one percent. Most of the sulfur in crude oil is in the heaviest boiling fractions. Since all of the refinery blendstocks that can be used to manufacture diesel fuel come from the heavier boiling components of crude oil, they contain substantial amounts of sulfur.

On an aggregate basis, most of the highway diesel fuel volume manufactured in the U.S. comes from the straight-run product of the crude fractionation tower (called straight run). Most of the remainder, comes from the fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) conversion unit (called light cycle oil).

The remaining small fraction of diesel fuel volume comes from a coker conversion unit (called light coker gas oil), or from the hydrocracker conversion unit (called hydrocrackate).

Sulfur containing compounds in distillate can be classified according to the ease with which they are desulfurized. Sulfur contained in paraffins or aromatics with a single aromatic ring are relatively easy to desulfurize. These molecules are sufficiently flexible so that the sulfur atom is in a geometric position where it can make physical contact with the surface of the catalyst. The more difficult compounds are contained in aromatics consisting of two aromatic rings, particularly dibenzothiophenes.

Dibenzothiophene contains two benzene rings which are connected by a carbon-carbon bond and two carbon-sulfur bonds (both benzene rings are bonded to the same sulfur atom). This compound is essentially flat in nature and the carbon atoms bound to the sulfur atom hinder the approach of the sulfur atom to the catalyst surface. Despite this, today's catalysts are very effective in desulfurizing dibenzothiophenes, as long as only hydrogen is attached to the carbon atoms bound directly to the sulfur atom.

However, distillate can contain dibenzothiophenes which have methyl or ethyl groups bound to the carbon atoms which are in turn bound to the sulfur atom. These extra methyl or ethyl groups further hinder the approach of the sulfur atom to the catalyst surface.

Dibenzothiophenes with such methyl or ethyl groups are commonly referred to as being sterically hindered. An example of a dibenzothiophene with a single methyl or ethyl group next to the sulfur atom is 4-methyldibenzothiophene. An example of a dibenzothiophene with two methyl or ethyl groups next to the sulfur atom is 4,6-dimethyl dibenzothiophene. In 4,6-dimethyl dibenzothiophene, and similar compounds, the presence of a methyl group on either side of the sulfur atom makes it very difficult for the sulfur atom to react with the catalyst surface to assist the hydrogenation of the sulfur atom.

Straight run distillate (or straight run gas oil (SRGO)) contains relatively low levels of these sterically hindered compounds. LCO, contains the greatest concentration of sterically hindered compounds. Thus, LCO is generally more difficult to desulfurize than straight run distillate.1 In addition, cracked stocks, particularly LCO, have a greater tendency to form coke on the catalyst, which deactivates the catalyst and requires its replacement.


Overall, Canadian fuels tend to have low density, low viscosity, and lighter distillation characteristics than those used in the United States, and are among the worst lubricity fuels in the world. Diesel fuel No. 1, as used for much of the year in Canada, is broadly similar to the kerosene fuels that caused durability problems in military vehicles, municipal buses, and aviation equipment.

Even prior to the introduction of low-sulfur diesel fuel, Canada had reported problems with reduced equipment life. These failures were typically associated with winter grade diesel fuels, particularly when they were used in warmer conditions. Low-sulfur fuels have been available in Canada since the 1980s, and a maximum sulfur content of 500 ppm was mandated in 1994. Fleet testing repeatedly demonstrated catastrophic pump failure in less than 500 miles of operation on Canadian fuel. In 1997, Canada modified its low-sulfur diesel fuel specification to address the lubricity of winter fuels - those having a viscosity below 1.9 cSt at 40C or less and a cloud point of -30C or lower. A fuel supplier can "qualify" its fuel using one of several options, ranging from a field test to pump rig tests to the HFRR or BOCLE laboratory scale test. A fuel supplier must use lubricity additives if the fuel fails the selected test.
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Old April 26th, 2001, 10:21   #5
cars wanted
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Rockville, Maryland U.S.A.
Fuel Economy: 65/45/38
Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

Yeah, but Canadian diesel fuel smokes less. I have run only 1 tank of Canadian diesel fuel, vs. nearly 20 tanks of U.S. diesel fuels. The Canadian fuel looked clearer (less greenish-yellow) than U.S. fuel, and foamed even more easily. Fuel economy seemed a tiny bit worse on the Canadian brew, but 1 tank, and not identical driving conditions make this not entirely an accurate test. I cannot address lubricity issues, since I always add Stanadyne fuel additive to any fuel I buy.
ittrad, my recommendation to you when travelling in the U.S.A. is to try and seek out Amoco Premier #2 diesel fuel, or even Amoco Powerblend diesel fuel. Of course, this is most difficult for a traveller to do, and Amoco's web site is of no help, since Amoco apparently considers locations of gas stations selling Amoco diesel fuels to be a corporate trade secret. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] I always add the Stanadyne, and lately, I have been using Amsoil's Cetane additive, which does result in easier cold starts and less smoke. I hope this will help on your next trip in the U.S.A. (Thanks to our Golf TDIs, we live less than a tankful of fuel apart.)
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Old April 26th, 2001, 11:51   #6
GoFaster
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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

I dunno about the Canadian fuel being so bad. There's lots of folks with VW diesels here, and no issues. I've certainly had no issues with mine. It is indeed a lighter grade (at least in winter), and this is a GOOD THING, because your fuel system won't freeze up in -30 C!! There have been enough problems with American diesel freezing up, and practically none here.

I add a small amount of Marvel Mystery Oil and Kleen-Flo injector cleaner to address the possible lubricity issues.

Brian P.
'96 Passat TDI mit UPsolute
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Old April 26th, 2001, 19:02   #7
ittrad
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Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

Excellent reply... but why does it smoke less? And why do I know several people with 400,000 mile plus diesels who don't use additives. in fact, a friend is driving from BC to Newfoundland in a 650,000Km diesel right now.

Jamie
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Old April 26th, 2001, 20:51   #8
SkyPup
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Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

Jamie, do a search on this forum under my user #84, I posted a complete list of each Canadian refinery, the type of production each one does and whether or not they met the Canadian governments lubricity requirements with or without additives, the info is all there.

BTW, Canada also signed off on the new ULSD fuel regulations too and the Canadian Minister of the Environment is interested in getting Canada ahead of the ball which will be phased in from 2004-2006, so things will be getting alot better. There is also a diesel fuel chemistry investigation on-going at the present time to consider the optimum performance of other diesel fuel quality parameters, including higher cetane regulations, less aromatics, and more density. These studies will be completed by this summer and will be an addendum to the current new regulations. Canada will also abide by these new regs too.

PRAY FOR EUROSPEC DIESEL FUEL REGULATIONS FOLKS! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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Old April 27th, 2001, 08:27   #9
magicmel
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Canada
Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

Actually the best diesel in Canada, IMHO, is Mohawk or Husky, their diesel is diesel max premium. I found that Petro Canada and Hugh's diesel performed very poorly. For example on a recent short trip on Petro canada diesel my milege dropped to 42 MPG, I filled up with Mohawk and the the same drive went back to 57 MPG. Coincidence? I think not. [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old April 27th, 2001, 17:13   #10
ittrad
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Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

Thanks SkyPup... I'll have to do some reading then!

Jamie
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Old April 29th, 2001, 01:09   #11
Janusz
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Default Re: Canadian vs. American diesel

I've tried all available diesel brands here in BC and found all of them crappy, but Mohawk seems to be a little better indeed.

So now I try to stick with Mohawk as much as possible and this is all we can do in Great White North, really.

I also found some AVIEX additive at Husky cardlock station - this cetane and lubricity improver is discontinued now, but it works really good. I bought all the stock they still had for only $4 a liter so now I am good for few years at least [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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Old April 28th, 2011, 13:52   #12
dezeljunky
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Location: Richmond, BC
Default After 10 Years... let's have another go at this ;)

I drive down to Bellingham, WA monthly(thanks to ventectemy) now to fuel up (Fred Meyer D2) and get my fix of cheap groceries. I think I'm saving about 20-25c per litre on diesel compared to Canadian diesel. The fuel savings pays for my short trip over the border where I can get more selection of groceries at significantly lower prices than in Canada.

Should I be concerned that US diesel has fewer additives or vice versa? Any difference now that we are both on ULSD?

Last edited by dezeljunky; April 28th, 2011 at 13:54.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 15:16   #13
IceRaider360
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Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Fuel Economy: 4.7 L/100km
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I have been using CO-OP EP3000 diesel for a while now and I can almost hit my 4.6 l/100km rating on my car, they have Diesel nozzles at every pump and it starts great in the winter -35C on my 2011 Golf TDI DSG.

Specifications
EP3000
Density (KG/M3 @ 15C)
Summer = 860
Winter = 855
Cetane Number
Summer = 46.5
Winter = 44.0
Cloud Point (C)
Summer = -15
Winter = -40
Pour Point (C)
Summer = -28
Winter = -52
Flash Point (C)
Summer = 75
Winter = 67
Sulphur Content (% Mass)
Summer = <0.0015 (15ppm)
Winter = <0.0015 (15ppm)
Lubricity (HFRR - Maximum 460 @ 60C)
Summer = <460
Winter = <460

Last edited by IceRaider360; April 28th, 2011 at 15:20.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 15:27   #14
dezeljunky
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Is ep3000 US or Canadian diesel?
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Old April 28th, 2011, 15:33   #15
dezeljunky
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I don't think I can get there here in the west coast... ah well..
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