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Shell gas stations here in Canada claim to be "nitrogen enriched";


WHY SHOULD YOU USE SHELL NITROGEN ENRICHED GASOLINE?

It is the only gasoline that contains the patented and exclusive Shell Nitrogen Enriched Cleaning System

Extensively tested for more than half-million miles in various engines and vehicles

Actively cleans performance-robbing gunk from intake values and fuel injectors

Acts like a protective barrier to shield fuel injectors and intake valves against future gunk build up

Exceeds the stringent requirements of the world’s top automakers – Audi, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen – and is certified as a TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline

No other gasoline protects better!


I looked around, but I couldn't really find any conclusive tests on wether it actually had a cleaning and performance-enhancing effect.

Does it work as well as claimed?

  • I couldn't find any info about the patent that Shell issued in the first place. It's nowhere on the site, and I didn't find anything with keywords "nitrogen", "cleaning", "gasoline" either, so as of now, I doubt it. However, there's a possibility that I didn't use correct keyword either. – Andrew T. Nov 30 '15 at 6:37
  • On shell's site here: shell.ca/en/products-services/shell-for-drivers/fuels/… it says explicitly that it's patented, and I don't think shell's one to lie; perhaps it's only in Canada? – 0xDBFB7 Nov 30 '15 at 12:21
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A good starting point for information about this topic is The Gasoline Wars Chemical & Engineering News, vol. 87, pages 20-21.

First, when shell says "nitrogen-enriched", it does not mean that nitrogen itself (such as dinitrogen in air) is added to the gasoline. Instead, it means that an amine detergent compound is added to the gasoline.

Secondly, amine detergent compounds have been know for a long time to have cleaning effects. Various companies use specific amine compounds in their fuels.

There is a US patent 7901470 Gasoline Additives that is assigned to Shell and involves compounds of the form:

CH3(CH2)nNH2 where n is between 9 and 17, such as dodecylamine.

This patent includes test results concerning deposits in engines.

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