China Diesel Oil Spec Nears Adoption


China Diesel Oil Spec Nears Adoption
Farmers use a heavy truck to transport silage corn feed in a field in Luannan County in North China. © chinahbzyg /

GUANGZHOU, China – China is close to approving D1, the nation’s first diesel engine oil performance specification, a speaker from China National Petroleum Corp. said at the Technology Innovation and Industry Development Forum held here on April 11.

“We have invested a lot in the past seven years to develop D1, and finally we are here,” Guo Peng, a senior engineer at CNPC involved in D1 development, said. D1 defines performance requirements as well as test methods, lubricant categories and best practices for lube storage. It targets the oils used in diesel engines complying with China VI and previous emission standards.

The D1 draft got the nod from industry experts in April 2023 and is waiting for the final approval from China’s standardization administration, he said.

“Diesel engines power various vehicles in some key industries, including those used in infrastructure construction as well as in battlefields, for example in tanks,” he said. “China cannot rely on foreign specs.” API specifications developed by the American Petroleum Institute are primarily used in the country today.

According to the Chinese Society for Internal Combustion Engines, the country needs its own engine oil specs because of the differences in engine designs and emissions standards between the United States and China. One example is that the engines selected in the United States for oil testing methods are made by major American and Japanese original equipment manufacturers, some of which are not major players in China. Another is that exhaust gas recirculation systems widely adopted by U.S. heavy-duty engine manufacturers are not yet prevalent in China.

CNPC already developed a diesel engine oil meeting D1 under its Kunlun brand. It contains two CNPC proprietary additives – an ashless dispersant and an alkyl salicylate detergent, Guo said.

Now is the right timing for China to have its own diesel engine oil spec, he continued, as domestic companies have built highly self-controlled supply chains over the past decade. That includes state-owned engine makers like Shandong Weichai, reliable base oil producers, highly capable additives developers and well-equipped lube testing labs. “Everything is ready for us to develop China specs,” Guo said.