New Gases, New Challenges for Gas Engines

ExxonMobil’s Jarmo Vihersalo discusses how engine operators can realise the potential of new gases through the use of advanced lubricants

Jarmo Vihersalo

Over the last two decades, there has been an increase in alternative power sources. Gases produced from waste such as landfill and biomass are becoming increasingly important contributors to the energy sector – particularly in EU countries such as Germany, the UK, Italy and France.

With these new gases, however, come new challenges for engine operators.

The challenge

Biogas is a catch-all term for many different gases – those from landfill and biomass waste, for example – and each gas presents its own challenges. Contaminants such as siloxanes and hydrogen sulphides can be present in high levels, and have the potential to accelerate wear in liners and piston rings, causing engine failure.

The make-up of new gases can also be problematic; one batch might contain different properties than another – due to the diverse waste products from which the gas is formed. This means close attention must be paid to maintenance operations, including the lubrication of engines.

The solution

The correct lubricant can help to significantly extend oil drain intervals, boosting reliability and power output. This is achieved by improving engine durability through a lubricant’s ability to provide outstanding anti-wear and anti-scuff performance, and exceptional carbon and varnish deposit control – mitigating some of the challenges of operating engines on biomass and landfill gases.

The condition of a lubricant should also be checked regularly to avoid equipment downtime.  Trending oil analysis data over time, using an oil analysis programme, can help operators anticipate oil drain intervals, reduce maintenance and, in turn, improve safety.

ExxonMobil’s industry-leading Mobil Pegasus™ series has been at the forefront of gas engine lubricant technology for 50 years. A new product will be launched at Power-Gen 2015 specifically designed for this era of new gases.

At Power-Gen Europe, ExxonMobil will be hosting a roundtable, in conjunction with Power Engineering International that will seek to expand on these challenges and discuss the future of the energy industry in light of these new gases.

For more information visit the ExxonMobil stand at Power-Gen Europe in Hall 1 Stand R2 or go to



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