Diesel Oil Nearly Set to Roll


With approval of the next generation of heavy-duty engine oils apparently imminent, the first products could hit the market as early as next month. These new oils target the needs of low-emission diesel engines equipped with exhaust gas recirculation.

ExxonMobil’s Steve Kennedy, chairman of the American Petroleum Institute’s New Category Development Team for PC-9, as the proposed oil is now called, reported to API’s Lubricants Committee on Nov. 5 that progress toward completing the new category is “in pretty good shape.”

Three new engine tests for this category (the Mack T-10 for ring and liner wear; the Cummins M-11/EGR for valve train wear and sludge; and Caterpillar’s 1R for piston deposit control and oil consumption) were accepted by ASTM by September, and registration of PC-9 candidate engine oils under the American Chemistry Council’s Code of Practice was in full swing by October.

A ballot is now in process for final approval of the new oil category, which will likely be secured at the Dec. 5 meeting of ASTM Committee D-2, Petroleum Products and Lubricants.

API’s official name for PC-9 will be CI-4. If the ASTM ballot is successful, first commercial usage of the CI-4 category designation can take place after Dec. 5. Marketers could then display CI-4 on engine oil containers but would, for the time being, be prohibited from showing it within API’s “donut” symbol or referring to API registration or licensing.

API will begin licensing CI-4 products on Sept. 5, 2002, nine months after ASTM’s expected approval. Jim Taglia of Nor-Lakes Services Midwest, representing the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association, expressed concern. “We had hoped for a 12-month period between ASTM approval and API licensing to make sure the playing field was level for the smaller marketers,” he said.

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