Dyes have no effect on fuel quality, says Shell

By THE STAR | 6 March 2015

PETALING JAYA: Shell Malaysia has quelled the furore over the difference of thickness in RON 97 petrol colour by saying that it does not have any impact on fuel quality and engine performance.

In a widely circulated video on social media, a man compared two RON 97 fuels from two different Shell stations and said that the fuel performance were different, alleging the difference in petrol colour as a factor.

A spokesperson from the company said the natural colour of petrol and diesel derived from crude oil is a very light yellow.

“As mandated by authorities, fuel dyes are added for visual identification of different grades and types of fuel.

“RON 97 is mandated as red in Malaysia and RON 95 is yellow (or undyed). The fuel dyes do not have any impact on fuel quality and engine performance,” said the spokesperson.

An industry expert said this is simply because of the different amounts of dye, which can range from 5ppm to 18ppm. (Ppm is parts per million)

Additionally, the method of injecting the dye – whether it is automated or by bulk mixing – can also result in different shades of red.

However, he said the dye has no impact on fuel quality. He also said the likely reason for the difference in colour is simply because they are supplied from different terminals.

Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) deputy president Datuk Zulkifli Mokti said if the person feels there is a difference in fuel performance; they should send it to a chemical lab for a check-up.

“Take a sample of it and send it for chemical check and make a report to Sirim, then they will look at it.

“When it comes to colours, talking about performance, it is very difficult to say. If there is a slight difference, you will not know or feel it unless you use a gauge.

“It is very hard to say it is good or no good, whether it is mixed or tapered or not. You got to send it to a lab to check it out if there is any problem,” said Zulkifli.