Natural Gas Engine Oil: Benefits, Types, and Maintenance

Natural gas engine oil is a specialized lubricant designed for stationary and mobile engines fueled by natural gas. It is formulated to provide top efficiency and superior protection in natural gas engines, which operate under unique conditions compared to diesel or gasoline engines. Natural gas engines are known for their low emissions and cost-effectiveness, making them a popular choice for industrial and commercial applications.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) engines require specially formulated oils to provide excellent performance and extended drain capability. Mobil Delvac Modern CNG/LNG engine oil and Shell Rotella T4 Natural Gas Oil are some of the popular brands in the market. These oils offer excellent oxidation protection, wear protection, and extreme-temperature performance, making them ideal for natural gas engines. As natural gas continues to gain popularity as a fuel source, the demand for natural gas engine oil is also expected to rise.

Benefits of Using Natural Gas Engine Oil

Natural gas engine oil is a specially formulated lubricant designed to meet the unique needs of engines that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). Here are some of the benefits of using natural gas engine oil:

Improved Engine Performance

Natural gas engine oil provides better wear protection, extreme-temperature performance, and longevity than conventional oils. This is because oil made using gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology is free from the contaminants inherent to conventional oils. Purpose-designed biogas and landfill engine oils have a higher base number (BN) than gas engine oils for engines burning pipeline quality natural gas, which protects the engine from corrosive acids formed from contaminants in the fuel.

Reduced Emissions

Using natural gas engine oil can help reduce emissions. Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than diesel or gasoline, and natural gas engines produce lower levels of harmful emissions such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides. This makes natural gas engines a good choice for fleets and industries looking to reduce their carbon footprint and meet emissions regulations.

Cost Savings

Natural gas engine oil can help reduce operating costs. Natural gas is generally less expensive than diesel or gasoline, so using natural gas engines can result in lower fuel costs. Additionally, natural gas engines require less maintenance than diesel engines, which can help reduce maintenance costs and downtime. Dual fuel engines can deliver financial savings through reduced diesel fuel consumption, and the excess natural gas burned through flaring can be redeployed to power the dual fuel engines on a well site.

As you can see, natural gas engine oil provides improved engine performance, reduced emissions, and cost savings. Using natural gas engines and natural gas engine oil can be a good choice for fleets and industries looking to reduce their carbon footprint and operating costs.

Read More About: Gray Oil in Engine 

Types of Natural Gas Engine Oil

Natural Gas Engine Oil

When it comes to natural gas engine oil, there are two main types: conventional and synthetic. Both types of engine oil have their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

Conventional Natural Gas Engine Oil

Conventional natural gas engine oil is made from crude oil and contains additives that help it perform better in high-temperature and high-pressure environments. This type of oil is typically less expensive than synthetic oil and is widely available.

One of the main benefits of conventional natural gas engine oil is that it can help reduce engine deposits, which can improve engine performance and prolong engine life. However, conventional oil may not perform as well in extreme temperatures and may require more frequent oil changes.

Synthetic Natural Gas Engine Oil

Synthetic natural gas engine oil is made from chemical compounds and is designed to provide superior performance in extreme temperatures and high-pressure environments. This type of oil is typically more expensive than conventional oil but can offer longer drain intervals and better fuel efficiency.

One of the main benefits of synthetic natural gas engine oil is that it can help improve engine performance and reduce engine wear. Synthetic oil also tends to be more stable at high temperatures, which can help reduce engine deposits and prolong engine life.

Overall, the choice between conventional and synthetic natural gas engine oil will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific engine being used, the operating conditions, and the desired level of performance and durability. It is important to consult with a qualified lubricant expert to determine the best type of oil for a particular application.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Natural Gas Engine Oil

When it comes to choosing natural gas engine oil, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration. These factors include viscosity, additives, and base oil type. Understanding these factors can help ensure that the right oil is selected for the specific engine and operating conditions.

Viscosity

Viscosity is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing natural gas engine oil. It refers to the oil’s resistance to flow and is typically measured using the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) viscosity grading system. Natural gas engines require oils with a higher viscosity due to the higher operating temperatures and pressures.

Additives

Additives are chemicals that are added to the oil to improve its performance. They can help reduce wear, prevent deposits, and improve fuel economy. When choosing natural gas engine oil, it is important to select one that contains the right additives for the specific engine and operating conditions.

Base Oil Type

The base oil is the primary component of the oil and can be either mineral or synthetic. Mineral oils are made from crude oil and are less expensive, while synthetic oils are made from chemical compounds and are more expensive but offer better performance. When selecting natural gas engine oil, it is important to consider the base oil type and choose the one that is best suited for the specific engine and operating conditions.

It’s best to keep in mind that, choosing the right natural gas engine oil is essential for ensuring optimal engine performance and longevity. By considering factors such as viscosity, additives, and base oil type, engine owners can select the oil that is best suited for their specific needs.

Check: What is PD Engine Oil

How to Properly Maintain Natural Gas Engine Oil

Regular Oil Analysis

Regular oil analysis is essential to maintaining natural gas engine oil. It is recommended to perform oil analysis every 500 hours of engine operation or at least once a year. This analysis will help determine the oil’s condition and whether it needs to be changed or not.

The oil analysis will also help identify any potential issues with the engine, such as excessive wear or contamination. By detecting these problems early on, they can be addressed before they cause significant damage to the engine.

Proper Oil Changing Procedures

Proper oil changing procedures are critical to maintaining natural gas engine oil. The oil should be changed according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals, which can vary depending on the engine and its usage.

It is important to follow the correct oil changing procedures, including draining the oil completely, replacing the oil filter, and filling the engine with the proper amount and type of oil. Failure to follow these procedures can lead to premature engine wear and reduced engine life.

Appropriate Oil Filters

Using the appropriate oil filters is essential to maintaining natural gas engine oil. Natural gas engines require oil filters that are specifically designed for use with this type of fuel.

These filters are designed to remove contaminants from the oil, which can cause engine wear and damage. Using the wrong type of oil filter can result in reduced engine life and increased maintenance costs.

With that being said, maintaining natural gas engine oil is crucial to ensuring the longevity and proper functioning of the engine. Regular oil analysis, proper oil changing procedures, and appropriate oil filters are all essential to achieving this goal. By following these guidelines, natural gas engine owners can help keep their engines running smoothly and efficiently.

Conclusion

It’s best to keep in mind that, natural gas engine oil is a specialized lubricant that is designed to meet the unique demands of engines that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is formulated to provide superior protection against wear, deposits, and corrosion in these engines, which operate at high temperatures and pressures.

Choosing the right natural gas engine oil is essential to ensuring optimal performance and longevity of your engine. Regular oil analysis and maintenance can also help identify any potential issues before they become major problems. By using high-quality natural gas engine oil and following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, you can help maximize the efficiency and reliability of your natural gas engine.