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calendar   Wednesday - April 09, 2014

A Better Oil?

Petroleum Oil Made From Natural Gas



I mentioned in my 3am post that I’d seen motor oil for sale, labeled “made from natural gas”. I don’t pay attention to the petro world; for all I knew this has been around for years. Actually, it’s been around for about a month. Looks like Shell invented the technology, and the process creates an exact, pure, product. Oil of a precise certain viscosity with almost no other petroleum byproducts in it. This is amazing. And I gather the only reason I saw the “made from natural gas” tag on several different brands of motor oil is because Shell owns them all. Surprise! Less than perfect competition in the marketplace, who’da thunk?


Synthetic Oil From Natural Gas: Nothing Crude About It

[March 07, 2014] Shell announced today the creation of the first-of-its kind base oil made from natural gas, the cleanest burning fossil fuel. It is called Shell PurePlus(TM) Technology, a patented process of converting natural gas into a clear base oil, which is the main component of motor oils. 

Shell PurePlus Technology is now being used to create motor oils that offer complete protection to motorists in the United States.
...
“Shell PurePlus Technology is the result of 40 years of innovation starting with the Shell natural-gas-to-liquids (GTL) process that dates back to the 1970s,” said Dr Richard Dixon, Shell North America Motor Oil Technology Manager.

“We then took this technology and ultimately created Shell PurePlus base oil, which has been in large scale commercial development since late 2011. To our knowledge, Shell is the only manufacturer to have produced base oils from natural gas on a commercial scale and it’s exciting to pave the way for others to follow.”

Shell PurePlus Technology base oil is manufactured at the Pearl GTL facility in Ras Laffan in Qatar, a partnership between Qatar Petroleum and Shell. Shell PurePlus base oil is crystal clear due to having fewer of the impurities found in crude oil.

“Shell is unique in having this product, and they are not selling it to others, and it will make a great motor oil, there’s no doubt about it,” said Stephen Ames, managing director for SBA Consulting, which consults for the lubricants and refining industries. “Will it be better than other people’s motor oil remains to be seen.”

Shell’s base oil from natural gas is cheaper than that derived from crude, which Ames said gives the company an advantage.

“Everybody is fascinated, to be honest, at the consumer level,” said Istvan Kapitany, president of Shell Lubricants Americas. “If you look at the base oil, it looks like clear water.”

Producing clear base oil from crude is like trying to filter muddy water, Kapitany said.

“You still have impurities in it,” he said.

A clearer base oil can produce motor oil that keeps engines cleaner and running more efficiently, he said.

“It is, of course, pure and it also offers lower viscosity levels to be achieved which is, in modern engines, becoming more and more important,” Kapitany said.
...
Global demand for lubricants was 38.7 million tons in 2012, with the United States accounting for 22 percent of consumption, according to data from Kline & Company, a market intelligence firm.

If the motor oil could be made using natural gas produced in the United States, there could be domestic benefits, said Daniel Whitten, spokesman for America’s Natural Gas Alliance.

Pretty awesome. This means we’ll still have oil, even if we ever run out of oil. I have no idea if they can alter the process to make gasoline or diesel fuel. Wouldn’t that rock if they could?

And now I’m wondering what kind of natural gas it takes to feed the process. Because natural gas comes in several varieties. And some kind of flammable gas can be made from coal. That one’s old school actually; “town gas” has been around a very long time as a byproduct of cooking coal into coke for the steel mills. 

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/09/2014 at 12:57 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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