Elf Aquazole: a water-diesel fuel

Addition of water in the fuel of a diesel engine: aquazole

Keywords: diesel, clean water, addition, pollution, drop, smoke, aquazole, Aquasole

Download the Ademe report entitled: FUEL TESTING
Aquazole ® ON BUS FLEET

This page explains, in part, the observations seen on vehicles doped with water like our Zx (see the page “Our experiment”). The most interesting parts are in bold italics. Yet despite these results, dating from before 1998, and from a large oil group, aquazole is still not (officially) sold to the general public… Why?

The water emulsion in the diesel

A new type of fuel for diesel engines (Fuel Supplement Energy and Commodities letter No. 5-3 1998ème quarter)

In recent 30 years consumption of diesel has increased 7. It went from Mt 3,5 1967 to 24,5 1997 Mt, primarily due to the growth of freight transport which today represents approximately 60% of consumption (the 40% remaining correspond to the consumption of private vehicles).

Meanwhile, awareness of the pollution caused by transport led to a gradual hardening of a part of the emission regulations and also the quality of fuels.

The development of catalytic converters 3 tracks on the exhaust ignition engines fueled by unleaded petrol has reduced so sensitive pollutant emissions (CO, NOx, HC). For diesel engines, control of pollutant emissions was found more difficult to achieve.

Also many research programs have been launched to reduce pollution from diesel vehicles as by manufacturers by tankers.

It is in this context that ELF Antar FRANCE done for several years studies on a new type of fuel consisting of an emulsion of water in the diesel fuel, stable and usable by the diesel engine without modification.

Indeed, the benefits of water injection in a diesel engine type are known from the beginning of the century: possibility of increasing the compression ratio and the specific power, removal of deposits, reductions in emissions of NOx and soot due in particular to the lowering of the temperature of the combustion chamber.

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The water content was optimized for best efficiency in terms of reduction of NOx pollutants and soot firstly, and secondly emulsion stability. The relevance of the new type of fuel is its stability characteristics gained through purely organic additives that contain no metallic element or halogenated compound, which will have no effect on the release of exhaust gases.

The gas oil base in the composition of the EEG fully meets the European standard EN 590, in effect, that defines the European commercial diesel.

Initially, the new fuel (EEG, emulsion of water in Diesel) will be intended for diesel vehicles fleets of professional and easy to appovisionner with a specific logistics (bus, buses, garbage trucks, cleaning vehicles of roads, locomotives and diesel engines), as well as fixed installations (power generators).

Before the first results in the reduction of pollutant emissions, the DHYCA and other authorities concerned expressed interest. They authorized the ELF Company to undertake trials to build a case for approval and then the unmarked marketing of this new type of fuel.


From an optimized formulation (water, gas oil additive) taking into account:

- the stability of the emulsion,
- emission reductions,
- engine operability (power variation, adjustments, technical monitoring),

tests were undertaken both laboratory and engine bench or vehicle, in partnership with a manufacturer of trucks, urban transport companies, municipal corporations or removal of garbage or cleaning.

1.1 Emulsion stability

It is the primary criterion to be met, without which there can be no EEG fuel. Various aspects of stability were studied and related issues resolved: storage stability (the product takes over 4 months), low temperature stability, stability to sudden temperature changes, oxidation stability, resistance to bacterial contamination

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1. 2 Reduced pollutant emissions reported emissions of commercial diesel

The environmental benefit is significant on heavy-duty, especially on older engines MAN SC10, Equipping city buses.

We note, by measurements carried out on standardized cycles (European cycle R49-13 modes, AUTONAT cycle, AQA-RATP cycle, RVI cycle, etc.), for an EEG fuel compared with the diesel used in the formulation of the EEG :

- a reduction in NOx emissions of 15 to 30%;
- a reduction in smoke and soot of 30 to 80%;
- a reduction in particle emissions of 10 to 80%.

These results will be refined and optimized based on the composition of the EEG, notammant of the water content of the sulfur content of diesel fuels, depending also on future types and new engine emissions control technologies. Then the results should be confirmed by durability tests of performance obtained.

1. 3 Reducing energy consumption

Reported to the "diesel" base, there is a slight tendency to reduce the energy consumption of about 2%, explained by a more complete combustion of hydrocarbons in the presence of water and thus leading to a slight performance improvement.

1. 4 Maintenance and technical and statistical monitoring of vehicles powered by EEG

A hundred vehicles today use EEG as fuel (buses, coaches, skips). Since May 1995, 3 urban bus rolled over 250000 km without major incident or event wear. Kilometers traveled by all vehicles now approaching 100 600 000 km.

The technical and statistical monitoring of engines and equipment powered by EEG is performed according to an ELF / IVR protocol that includes an analysis of risks related to the use.

Extending over several years, it will focus on well-defined sample of vehicles. The protocol calls for IFP acting as expert.


In a first time ELF has developed a test protocol, validated by its own control laboratories comprising firstly the characterization of the actual emulsion and on the other hand characterization of the GET used as fuel diesel engine with demarcated test methods for conventional oil methods listed in European standard EN 590 defining diesel.

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The inclusion of test methods proposed by ELF, both by the Administration (DHYCA, DGDDI, DGCCRF) as both oil and automobile industries concerned (Heavyweight), requires approval work characteristics, validation and standardization of test methods by the Bureau de Normalisation du Petrole (OISP), French standards organization of test methods for petroleum products.

This work relied on interlaboratory tests organized as part of OISP missions, lead to standardization. They should be launched in the coming months and take place over a year.

It should then be possible to define the specifications ensuring merchantability EEG for their use as diesel fuel.

Finally, to reach the stage of commercialization, EEG fuel should be subject to all the procedures concerning the release for consumption of a new fuel, including notification to the European authorities in accordance with 83 / 189 Directive.


In conclusion, the emulsion of water in the diesel fuel (EEG) appears as a new type of clean fuel for diesel engine trucks, likely to significantly reduce emissions of pollutants in particular NOx, soot and particles immediately usable without significant modification of existing vehicles of engines and equipment.

However, work confirmation and deepening environmental benefits as well as durability tests still due. Moreover, in reaching its release to the market even reserved for captive fleets professional, easy to supply, it is necessary to have agreed specifications for specific characteristics measured by standardized test methods, in accordance with the procedures French administrative and in accordance with European technical regulations.

All these conditions are met, the next one to two years, a new type of fuel, the GET, should be released.

According to the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry, 15/06/1999

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