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HFRR Diesel Additives?

9029 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Pavetim
I know this has been beaten to death and talked about over and over and over again but................ my question is, how accurate is this study and can it be taken as gospel truth??

Here is a better explanation of the test and it's results.

The following are the preliminary results of a research study on diesel fuel Lubricity Additives. There is likely to be further commentary and explanation added at a future time.


The purpose of this research was to determine the ability of multiple diesel fuel additives to replace the vital lubricity component in ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfer Diesel) fuel.


ULSD fuel is the fuel currently mandated for use in all on road diesel engines. This fuel burns cleaner and is less polluting than it’s predecessor, called Low Sulfer Diesel Fuel. Low sulfer fuel contained less than 500 ppm of sulfer. ULSD contains 15 ppm or less.
As diesel fuel is further refined to remove the polluting sulfer, it is inadvertently stripped of its lubricating properties. This vital lubrication is a necessary component of the diesel fuel as it prevents wear in the fuel delivery system. Specifically, it lubricates pumps, high pressure pumps and injectors. Traditional Low sulfer diesel fuel typically contained enough lubricating ability to suffice the needs of these vital components. ULSD fuel, on the other hand, is considered to be very “dry” and incapable of lubricating vital fuel delivery components. As a result, these components are at risk of premature and even catastrophic failure when ULSD fuel is introduced to the system. As a result, all oil companies producing ULSD fuel must replace the lost lubricity with additives. All ULSD fuel purchased at retail fuel stations SHOULD be adequately treated with additives to replace this lost lubricity. The potential result of using inadequately treated fuel, as indicated above, can be catastrophic. There have been many documented cases of randomly tested samples of diesel fuel. These tests prove that often times the fuel we purchase is not adequately treated and may therefore contribute to accelerated wear of our fuel delivery systems. For this reason it may be prudent to use an after market diesel fuel additive to ENSURE adequate lubrication of the fuel delivery system. Additionally, many additives can offer added benefits such as cetane improver, and water separators or emulsifiers.


In this study we will test multiple diesel fuel additives designed to replace lost lubricity. The primary component of this study is a side-by-side laboratory analysis of each additive’s ability to replace this vital lubricity. Additionally, claims of improving cetane, water separation or emulsification, bio-diesel compatibility and alcohol content will be noted. These notes were derived from information that was readily available to consumers (via the label and internet information) and none of this information has been evaluated for validity and/or performance. Cetane information has only been noted if the word “cetane” was used in the advertising information. The words “improves power” has not been translated to mean “improves cetane” in this evaluation. Information on alcohol content is provided by indicating “contains no alcohol”. Omission of the words “contains no alcohol” does not imply that it does contain alcohol. This information was simply missing in the information available to a consumer. However, the possibility of a form of alcohol in these products is possible. Additionally, information on dosages and cost per tankful are included for comparison purposes.

How Diesel Fuel Is Evaluated For Lubricating Ability:

Diesel fuel and other fluids are tested for lubricating ability using a device called a “High Frequency Reciprocating Rig” or HFRR. The HFRR is currently the Internationally accepted, standardized method to evaluate fluids for lubricating ability. It uses a ball bearing that reciprocates or moves back and forth on a metal surface at a very high frequency for a duration of 90 minutes. The machine does this while the ball bearing and metal surface are immersed in the test fluid (in this case, treated diesel fuel). At the end of the test the ball bearing is examined under a microscope and the “wear scar” on the ball bearing is measured in microns. The larger the wear scar, the poorer the lubricating ability of the fluid. Southwest Research runs every sample twice and averages the size of the wear scar.
The U.S. standard for diesel fuel says a commercially available diesel fuel should produce a wear scar of no greater than 520 microns. The Engine Manufacturers Association had requested a standard of a wear scar no greater than 460 microns, typical of the pre-ULSD fuels. Most experts agree that a 520 micron standard is adequate, but also that the lower the wear scar the better.


An independent research firm in Texas was hired to do the laboratory work. The cost of the research was paid for voluntarily by the participating additive manufacturers. Declining to participate and pay for the research were the following companies: Amsoil and Power Service. Because these are popular products it was determined that they needed to be included in the study. These products were tested using funds collected by diesel enthusiasts at “”. Additionally, unconventional additives such as 2-cycle oil and used motor oil were tested for their abilities to aid in diesel fuel lubricity. These were also paid for by members of “”.
The study was conducted in the following manner:
-The Research firm obtained a quantity of “untreated” ULSD fuel from a supplier. This fuel was basic ULSD fuel intended for use in diesel engines. However, this sample was acquired PRIOR to any attempt to additize the fuel for the purpose of replacing lost lubricity. In other words, it was a “worst case scenario, very dry diesel fuel” that would likely cause damage to any fuel delivery system. This fuel was tested using the HFRR at the Southwest Research Laboratory. This fuel was determined to have a very high HFRR score of 636 microns, typical of an untreated ULSD fuel. It was determined that this batch of fuel would be utilized as the baseline fuel for testing all of the additives. The baseline fuel HFRR score of 636 would be used as the control sample. All additives tested would be evaluated on their ability to replace lost lubricity to the fuel by comparing their scores to the control sample. Any score under 636 shows improvement to the fuels ability to lubricate the fuel delivery system of a diesel engine.


In order to ensure a completely unbiased approach to the study, the following steps were taken:
Each additive tested was obtained independently via internet or over the counter purchases. The only exceptions were Opti-Lube XPD and the bio-diesel sample. The reason for this is because Opti-Lube XPD additive was considered “experimental” at the time of test enrollment and was not yet on the market. It was sent directly from Opti-Lube company. The bio-diesel sample was sponsored by Renewable Energy Group. One of their suppliers, E.H. Wolf and Sons in Slinger, Wisconsin supplied us with a sample of 100% soybean based bio-diesel. This sample was used to blend with the baseline fuel to create a 2% bio-diesel for testing.
Each additive was bottled separately in identical glass containers. The bottles were labeled only with a number. This number corresponded to the additive contained in the bottle. The order of numbering was done randomly by drawing names out of a hat. Only Spicer Research held the key to the additives in each bottle.
The additive samples were then sent in a box to An independent research firm. The only information given them was the ratio of fuel to be added to each additive sample. For example, bottle “A” needs to be mixed at a ratio of “480-1”. The ratio used for each additive was the “prescribed dosage” found on the bottle label for that product. Used motor oil and 2-cycle oil were tested at a rationally chosen ratio of 200:1.
The Research Laboratory mixed the proper ratio of each “bottled fluid” into a separate container containing the baseline fuel. The data, therefore, is meaningful because every additive is tested in the same way using the same fuel. A side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of each additive is now obtainable.


These results are listed in the order of performance in the HFRR test. The baseline fuel used in every test started at an HFRR score of 636. The score shown is the tested HFRR score of the baseline fuel/additive blend.
Also included is the wear scar improvement provided by the additive as well as other claimed benefits of the additive. Each additive is also categorized as a Multi-purpose additive, Multi-purpose + anti-gel, Lubricity only, non-conventional, or as an additive capable of treating both gasoline and diesel fuel.
As a convenience to the reader there is also information on price per treated tank of diesel fuel (using a 26 gallon tank), and dosage per 26 gallon tank provided as “ounces of additive per 26 gallon tank”.

In Order Of Performance:

1) 2% REG SoyPower biodiesel
HFRR 221, 415 micron improvement.
50:1 ratio of baseline fuel to 100% biodiesel
66.56 oz. of 100% biodiesel per 26 gallons of diesel fuel
Price: market value

2)Opti-Lube XPD
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, demulsifier
HFRR 317, 319 micron improvement.
256:1 ratio
13 oz/tank

3)FPPF RV, Bus, SUV Diesel/Gas fuel treatment
Gas and Diesel
cetane improver, emulsifier
HFRR 439, 197 micron improvement
640:1 ratio
5.2 oz/tank

4)Opti-Lube Summer Blend
HFRR 447, 189 micron improvement
3000:1 ratio
1.11 oz/tank

5)Opti-Lube Winter Blend
Muti-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver
HFRR 461, 175 micron improvement
512:1 ratio
6.5 oz/tank

6)Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, emulsifier, bio-diesel compatible
HFRR 470, 166 micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank

7)Super Tech Outboard 2-cycle TC-W3 engine oil
Unconventional (Not ULSD compliant, may damage 2007 or newer systems)
HFRR 474, 162 micron improvement
200:1 ratio
16.64 oz/tank

8)Stanadyne Lubricity Formula
Lubricity Only
demulsifier, 5% bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 479, 157 micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank

9)Amsoil Diesel Concentrate
demulsifier, bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 488, 148 micron improvement
640:1 ratio
5.2 oz/tank

10)Power Service Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost
Cetane improver, bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 575, 61 micron improvement
400:1 ratio
8.32 oz/tank

11)Howe’s Meaner Power Kleaner
Alcohol free
HFRR 586, 50 micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank

12)Stanadyne Performance Formula
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, demulsifier, 5% bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 603, 33 micron improvement
480:1 ratio
6.9 oz/tank

13)Used Motor Oil, Shell Rotella T 15w40, 5,000 miles used.
Unconventional (Not ULSD compliant, may damage systems)
HFRR 634, 2 micron improvement
200:1 ratio
16.64 oz/tank
price: market value

14)Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant
Gas or diesel
HFRR 641, 5 microns worse than baseline (statistically insignificant change)
427:1 ratio
7.8 oz/tank

15)B1000 Diesel Fuel Conditioner by Milligan Biotech
Multi-purpose, canola oil based additive
HFRR 644, 8 microns worse than baseline (statistically insignificant change)
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank

16)FPPF Lubricity Plus Fuel Power
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
Emulsifier, alcohol free
HFRR 675, 39 microns worse than baseline fuel
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank

17)Marvel Mystery Oil
Gas, oil and Diesel fuel additive (NOT ULSD compliant, may damage 2007 and newer systems)
HFRR 678, 42 microns worse than baseline fuel.
320:1 ratio
10.4 oz/tank

18)ValvTect Diesel Guard Heavy Duty/Marine Diesel Fuel Additive
Cetane improver, emulsifier, alcohol free
HFRR 696, 60 microns worse than baseline fuel
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank

19)Primrose Power Blend 2003
Cetane boost, bio-diesel compatible, emulsifier
HFRR 711, 75 microns worse than baseline
1066:1 ratio
3.12 oz/tank


Products 1 through 4 were able to improve the unadditized fuel to an HFRR score of 460 or better. This meets the most strict requirements requested by the Engine Manufacturers Association.
Products 1 through 9 were able to improve the unadditized fuel to an HFRR score of 520 or better, meeting the U.S. diesel fuel requirements for maximum wear scar in a commercially available diesel fuel.
Products 16 through 19 were found to cause the fuel/additive blend to perform worse than the baseline fuel. The cause for this is speculative. This is not unprecedented in HFRR testing and can be caused by alcohol or other components in the additives. Further investigation into the possibilities behind these poor results will investigated.
Any additive testing within +/- 20 microns of the baseline fuel could be considered to have no significant change. The repeatability of this test allows for a +/- 20 micron variability to be considered insignificant.


This study would not have been possible without the participation of all companies involved and A special Thank You to all of the members who generously donated toward this study and waited longer than they should have for the results. You folks are the best. Arlen Spicer, organizer.
"03 2500 HD, Kennedy Mega Filter, STOCK PAPER AIR FILTER, Oilguard Bypass, Primrose, Baldwin Oil Filter, ARE Camper Shell, Line X Liner, Westin Nerf Bars.
Last edited by blizzardplowman : 09-01-2007 at 01:03 PM. Reason: posters request
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That study, by Spicer over at TheDieselPlace, is pretty definitive. A good discussion of it can be found there. OptiLube has been questioned and answered there.

What seems to get short shrift is the performance of Soy BioDiesel as a lubricity improver. That study got me to digging a bit, and I dug up the study below.

This shows #2 diesel + 1% bio gets essentially the full lubricity benefit of biodiesel....
so we can add one quart of Soy BioDiesel and get the best lubricity going.
I'm from CO, so I was worried about the affect of SoyBioDiesel on gel point. I found this seemingly trustworthy info on diesel fuels and bio blends.

1% and 2% Soy diesel (B01 and B02) have cloud points of -16C (3F) pure dino diesel is listed as -18C (0F)- so there's not not much impact on the cloud point of #2 diesel. Wish they listed effects on #1 diesel or winter blends, but I suspect it's about the same.

Note that below are links to 2 specific pages. You can thumb around in there and find a seemingly endless amount of data and discussion of varying scientific content.

Digression on Diesel Fuel Properties

:Digression on Cold Flow-Continued--->>>:

I still have not decided on whether to use the B01 lube formula in the depths of the CO winter.
Another factor to watch out for is biologics (slime) growing in your diesel tank. (I wish they'd put drain on our factory tanks.)

I found some Kathon FP 1.5 biocide at a farm fuel distributor in Lexington, NE (Davis Energy.) He swears by the stuff. It meets MILSPEC, so it has to be pretty good.

Wading through the Rohm & Haas data (true mfg), it appears that only 3 PPM is required to kill mold, and <1.5 PPM for everything else. (That's where the 1.5 in the name apparently comes from.)

The data sheet I got from the seller said use 13 oz/1014 gallons for "kill", and 13 oz/2028 gallons for maintenance. Thus the recommended maintenance rate of 1:20,000 (50PPM) is 16X the actual required kill rate. The stuff prefers water, so water in your system will reduce the amount in the fuel, but the bottom line is that 50PPM is overkill for our use.

I would never use the 100 PPM "kill rate" application, except in severe problems with a lot of water present.

I will mix mine at 3.3 ounces per 500 gallons, roughly 50PPM.

The Brits recommend 100 PPM. but the mfg data does not support the need. The mfg data (in links inside the links below) indicates that it's safe for all normal fuel containers/systems at concentrations <400 PPM.

Here's some links on the stuff.

Fuel Quality Services, Inc.

Fuel Filtration and Fuel Polishing Systems - Separ UK - Kathon FP1.5 Microbiocide

I suspect that Power Service Bio Kleen (different from Diesel Kleen, and harder to find) would do a good job also.
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Dr Don's Snake Oil

Colorado has almost no biodiesel across the state.

In light of the info above, I make up my own pre-mixed additive in 5 gallon batches.(Actually I do two 5 gallon cans at a time, since I have to drive 20 miles to get the soy biodiesel.)

In a yellow 5 gallon diesel can:

120 oz Power Services Diesel Fuel Supplement
2.3 oz Kathon FP 1.5 (may substitute 8 oz Bio Kleen)
4 gallons Soy Bio Diesel (pure if you can get it)

I use the empty 80 oz DFS bottles to carry the snakeoil in my truck, and add 40 ounces at each fillup. Since my fillups average about 22 gallons, the above ratios work out about right for #2 (summer) diesel.

If I decide to use it in winter, I'll be adding a full 80 oz bottle at each fillup to get the full lubricity with #1 diesel.
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I'm from CO, so I was worried about the affect of SoyBioDiesel on gel point. I found this seemingly trustworthy info on diesel fuels and bio blends.

1% and 2% Soy diesel (B01 and B02) have cloud points of -16C (3F) pure dino diesel is listed as -18C (0F)- so there's not not much impact on the cloud point of #2 diesel. Wish they listed effects on #1 diesel or winter blends, but I suspect it's about the same.

I still have not decided on whether to use the B01 lube formula in the depths of the CO winter.
I like your formula, it is very similar to what I run and I use the bottles also.
Artic Fox makes several diesel fuel heaters, either in tank, in line or exterior mount. Then you could run your formula year round. Artic Fox is the brand most OTR truckers use. I run anywhere from B20 to B100 so if we have another winter like we did this year in Florida, I will probably look into adding one of those as well.
I'll have to investigate Arctic Fox. It'd be great if I could get a lift pump/filtration setup with a heater for those few mornings below -20 F in the Colorado high country.
I believe that Stanadyne and Power Services both recommned 2x strength for antigel with high percentage bioD. I suspect in FL you'd be OK with 1x, though. My uncle said it never got below 26F in Polk City.
I believe that Stanadyne and Power Services both recommned 2x strength for antigel with high percentage bioD. I suspect in FL you'd be OK with 1x, though. My uncle said it never got below 26F in Polk City.
He is on the same lattitude we're on, but he usually gets colder temps than we do. Worst I had was 28 at 5AM. That is COLD for us.
I will be finding some bio so i can mix one quart per tank. but is that one quart of b100 or what?
I will be finding some bio so i can mix one quart per tank. but is that one quart of b100 or what?
B100 is pure biodiesel
B20 is 20% bio, 80% diesel....and so on.
If you are doing this for lubricity, then you would be adding 1 qt of B100 which translates to less than B01 per tank of fuel. If biodiesel is your only additive, I would suggest adding a gal to get closer to B05 total for the tank.
Yeah I would just be using it for lubriocity or however you spell it. Then adding some cetane improver too.
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