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Fuel Types 
MotorMouth has developed an overview of some of the major fuels used by Australian motorists. For more information on National Fuel Quality Standards click here.

Regular Unleaded Petrol

Regular unleaded petrol (ULP) was introduced to market in 1986, to enable new vehicles to operate with a catalytic converter, a device designed to reduce exhaust emissions. ULP is the recommended fuel for the majority of passenger cars made since 1986.

Under the National Fuel Quality Standards, regular unleaded petrol is required to have a minimum Research Octane Number (RON) of 91.

Premium Unleaded Petrol

Premium unleaded petrol (PULP) is designed for engines that have a high compression ratio. Therefore, it is formulated with a higher-octane level to prevent knocking and to optimise performance. Under the National Fuel Quality Standards PULP is required to have a minimum RON of 95, however a number of premium unleaded products are formulated with a RON of 98. 

E10

E10 is a specially formulated regular unleaded petrol blended with up to 10% renewable ethanol. For some up to date information on whether your vehicle is suitable to run on fuel blends of up to 10% ethanol, please visit the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries web site.

Please be aware that MotorMouth can only report the prices for those fuels that have a price displayed on the priceboard at each service station. So if your favourite service station is not displaying the price of E10 blended fuel on their priceboard, then please encourage them to do so.

Biodiesel

Biodiesel is a biofuel derived from renewable plant or animal feedstocks containing fatty acids, such as vegetable oils and tallow. A percentage of biodiesel can be mixed with petroleum diesel to produce a biodiesel-blend fuel for use in diesel vehicles and equipment. An increasing number service stations are selling B20 to B100 blends because of the significant greenhouse reduction benefits. For more information please refer to the individual Oil Company websites.

Diesel

Automotive diesel fuel is designed for compression ignition diesel engines. A diesel engine has a higher compression ratio, resulting in lower fuel consumption than an equivalent petrol engine.

From 31 December 2002, it has become mandatory for all diesel sold in Australia to contain less than 500 parts per million (ppm) sulfur, typically referred to as Low Sulfur Diesel. This compares to previous typical production with around double that level. For more information on this go to: http://www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/fuelquality/standards/diesel/index.html

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is the most commonly used alternative fuel for vehicles, consisting mainly of a mixture of propane and butane.   

Cost savings may be achieved by using LPG, dependant on the price differentiation with petrol and the engine conversion costs. LPG can also provide some environmental benefits, with estimates suggesting that exhaust and evaporative greenhouse emissions are approximately 15 per cent lower from vehicles using LPG compared to petrol. A national fuel quality standard for automotive LPG is due to be introduced in early 2003.

 


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A consumer awareness initiative of the Informed Sources Group