EnerBurn is being increasingly recognized by end-users and diesel engine mechanics alike as a cost-effective strategy for helping manage problems caused by the incomplete combustion of diesel fuel and corresponding accumulation of soot. Indeed, EnerBurn® is a great product for today’s “emissions-controlled” engines (model year 2007 and newer) and the OTR trucker’s best defense against bio-diesel blended fuels. One of the most frequently asked questions I get is whether the same benefits will occur for older, “pre-emissions” diesel engines. Of course the answer is a resounding “YES”. This was proven when an OTR fleet of 3,000 Caterpillar, pre-2007, “EGR only” engines passed a detailed engine inspection with flying colors after logging ~ 1 million miles of continuous use of diesel treated with EnerBurn® on each engine. Engine components were remarkably free of carbon and wear. The fleet average MPG increased by 10% based on the fleet’s evaluation of their fuel tracking records.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care”
Transport trucks are an extremely expensive capital investment and most independent fleet owners want them to last for a very, very long time. This is regardless of whether the truck was purchased new or used. The vast majority of truck transport companies and off-road diesel equipment owners are small to medium size businesses. They plan to keep their trucks for many years after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. With today’s newer engines and biodiesel blended fuels, the biggest maintenance problem is caused by the incomplete combustion of diesel resulting in soot and smoke that harm the engine as well as produce toxic emissions. This is the case even with newer, more fuel-efficient engine designs. All diesel engines produce soot, even if you cannot see it (because it is being trapped in the diesel particulate filter (DPF)). Soot particles are accumulating inside of the engine and the exhaust system components. Sooner or later it will make its presence known, usually in the form of the “check engine” dashboard light coming on to indicate then need to stop and have the DPF serviced or worse, to indicate a pre-maturely failed component. Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valves and/or coolers, the “doser” valve, exhaust sensors for temperature and pressure, and turbo-chargers are all very susceptible to failure and malfunction caused by soot build-up.
Prevention is the key. The earlier in the life of a new or newly rebuilt engine the owner starts using Enerburn® as a fuel additive, the fewer problems they are likely to encounter. All diesel engines regardless of year, make, model, whether or not they are equipped with exhaust after-treatment “emissions” systems will benefit from the combustion improvement they get from EnerBurn® as long as there are no underlying mechanical or electrical problems present.
The liquid catalyst ingredient in EnerBurn is carried by fuel into the combustion chamber of an engine. EnerBurn® is activated by the extreme temperatures produced when fuel burns in the piston-cylinder compartment. In general, the higher the engine & exhaust gas temperatures produced by sustained engine work output, the better Enerburn works. Of course, EnerBurn® works by improving the burn rate of diesel during the power stroke of the engine. This catalytically enhanced combustion of diesel is what minimizes soot production while increasing fuel economy at the same time. In theory the two go hand in hand, meaning, it is impossible to get one without the other. To prove this, the manufacturers of EnerBurn conducted studies in which both fuel consumption and emissions were measured at the same time, on the same engine, both before and with EnerBurn® under tightly controlled engine operating conditions (constant load and rpm). Summaries of these test results appear on the website for JKG Fuel Solutions, http://betterdiesel.com/the-enerburn-experience/
Frequently observed benefits by EnerBurn customers
Of course the end-users of EnerBurn® are definitely NOT operating their engines under constant rpm and load. Regardless, JKG Fuel Solutions stands by its claim that Enerburn® will improve the engine performance and/or DPF/DEF performance of any diesel engine that is in good working order.
Many a skeptical first-time user of Enerburn® want to know that they are getting their money’s worth, and rightly so. This typically translates into whether they see better fuel economy with EnerBurn®. Understandable given that fuel costs account for the highest percentage of operating costs for transport companies. While many of my clients report what appear to be significant, meaning real, increases in their average MPG, there other valid indicators that “EnerBurn is working”. Here are a few other observations that are typically reported by new customers:
• Smoother, quieter engine operation with less vibration.
• More power, better responsiveness from the engine.
• Less soot and smoke from the exhaust for those engines without a DPF.
• Fewer and less frequent active or “parked” regenerations for those engines with a DPF.
• Shorter time to regenerate the DPF.
• Lower DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) consumption for those engines equipped with a DPF/DEF (SCR) system.
• Dramatically lower soot values as determined by engine oil analysis after the first or second oil change with use of EnerBurn®.
•Lower values for typical wear metals such as Cr, Sn, Ni, Cu, Pb, and Al as determined by engine oil analysis after the first or second oil change with use of EnerBurn.
I’ve known a number of EnerBurn® clients who take the more invasive step of disassembling parts of the exhaust system and inspecting them for changes in soot levels. This can be done with relative ease to inspect the EGR valve, exhaust sensors, and/or the DOC/DPF “front face” for soot build-up. They become true converts when the soot is either absent or dramatically lower than what they have seen previously.
Patience pays off
There is a saying that applies to EnerBurn®; “patience pays off”. In other words, the numerous benefits that may be obtained tend to “phase in” over time. For heavy duty class 8 trucks it may take anywhere from one half to a full gallon of EnerBurn® to get through the initial “cleaning and conditioning phase”. In general, the higher the miles of service the longer it will take for whatever carbon deposits that have already accumulated over hundreds of thousands of miles to burn away. Most customers understand that this process takes more time for an engine that has over 300,000 miles than for one with less than 50,000 miles, and they adjust their expectations accordingly. It also depends on the how that engine was or is being used. Long-haul, OTR engines are faster to clean up than engines that operate at lower revs, and/or under lower sustained loads (recall, higher engine temperatures facilitate better results with EnerBurn®).
Over years of listening to feedback from my customers there are some generalizations that can be reasonably applied to the end-user experience of EnerBurn®. In most cases (and there will always be exceptions), you can expect the following:
• Improvements in emissions and DPF “regen” performance are the first to appear, usually within the first 2-4 tanks of diesel treated with EnerBurn®.
•Measureable increases in fuel economy take longer to appear and gradually continue to increase over the first 3-6 months of continuous use.
• The swings (e.g., variability) between the highest MPG (maximum) and lowest MPG (minimum) will become less extreme. That is, the MPG will likely stabilize over time to a new, slightly higher average value.
EnerBurn User’s Guide (Do’s and Don’ts)
Do check your fuel filters within the first 2-4 weeks of treatment to see if they need to be changed. EnerBurn® has the effect of cleaning the fuel lines and tank of accumulated sludge, slime, and “varnish”.
Do follow the engine OEM’s recommendations for periodic maintenance of your DPF to remove accumulated “ash”. “Ash” is not the same thing as “soot”. Ash does not burn away like soot does. Our goal is to keep you from having to clean the DPF before the 200,000 to 300,000 mile recommended interval for ash clean out rolls around.
Do use an initial dose of one (1) ounce of EnerBurn® for every 20 gallons of diesel (treat ratio of 1:2500) for the first 2 to 4 weeks or until your engine starts to perform better and/or you experience less frequent “regen” operations or shorter duration of each active or parked “regen”.
Do reduce the dose for long-term use of EnerBurn®. We recommend a 20% lower dose of one (1) ounce of EnerBurn for every 24-25 gallons for maintaining the benefits of EnerBurn®. (treat ratio of 1:3000)
Do NOT exceed the recommended dose.
Do NOT become alarmed if your DPF/DEF system reacts to the initial use of EnerBurn® with a “check engine light”. This may be caused by the sensors in the exhaust reacting to the extra smoke produced by burning out those existing carbon deposits. During the initial clean-out and conditioning phase with use of EnerBurn® it is possible for things to appear to get worse before they get better. This is especially true for older diesel engine equipment with high miles or for engines that run short haul or have low duty cycles. If the “check engine” lights come on it may be possible to “drive through it” over a long distance and the situation will resolve on its own. Or it may be necessary to get the engine serviced with a forced regen and ECM reset.
Do seek the assistance of a qualified diesel engine mechanic if your DPF system is still not working the way it should no matter what you do. This indicates the likelihood of a problem in the system that needs to be properly diagnosed and corrected.
Do NOT become alarmed if you remove the DOC/DPF and see that it has an orange-red tint. This likely is caused by the catalytic ingredient in EnerBurn® and indicates that you are “over-treating”. Reduce the dose to one (1) ounce of EnerBurn for every 24-25 gallons of diesel (treat ratio of 1:3000).
Do NOT become alarmed if your oil analysis starts to show an increase in iron (Fe). This indicates that you are “over-treating” and need to reduce the dose to one (1) ounce of EnerBurn for every 24-25 gallons of diesel (treat ratio of 1:3000). It can also indicate that your need to have your piston rings replaced.
Do call JKG Fuel Solutions at (612) 209-3079 if you have any questions or concerns regarding your use of EnerBurn®.