Alternate fuels may be required to supplement future gasoline and diesel fuel supplies in spite of today's temporary excess of crude oil. A decade of lead time may be required to successfully bring these alternate fuels to the market place. It is prudent to utilize available prototype alternate fuels to determine the future engine oil performance requirements to provide optimum engine durability with these fuels.
This paper reviews engine oil requirements for alternate fuels both for the short and long term. Included are: (1) alcohols (ethanol and methanol) as partial additions, as well as neat, in both gasoline and diesel engine fuels; (2) diesel fuels from vegetable oils; and (3) fuels from tar sands, shale oil and coal.
Tailoring the engine oil for optimum performance with a given type of fuel extends engine life. Fuel additives can play a major role to enhance the performance of the fuel itself.