We met with Dr Richard Tucker, the General Manager of Commercial and Industry Fuels and Lubricants Technology of Shell in an exclusive interview to explore how the Shell Rimula and Shell FuelSave Diesel can help businesses to improve their bottom lines. According to him, the three major challenges forced by the global transport industry were the need to make energy work twice as efficiently as it does now, cut CO2 emissions and ensure more diverse supply of energy, especially from renewable sources.

"As the internal combustion engine is unlikely to be replaced substantially by alternatives in the next 15 lo 20 years, we need to work even more smartly with the fuels and lubricants that power today's vehicles," He further says "For the transport industry, the latest 'smarter' and innovative product offerings for heavy duty diesel vehicles such as the synthetic technology Shell Rimula R5 LE engine oil ond Shell FuelSave Diesel represented Shell's most advanced fuel economy technology to date in Malaysia." As Shell provides more than just fuel, it is noteworthy that the best results can be achieved when Shell products are used for all applications within a truck. Pistons run smoother when the fuel as well as the lubricants is from Shell as the formulations of both are designed to provide greater efficiency and fuel savings for fleet operators.

According to him, the right selection of lubricant can already result in fuel savings of between 0.5% and 1.5%. Shell is using a 4D approach to the creation of lubricants whereby 4D stands for: Define, Design, Develop and Demonstrate. Here we are talking about Synthetic Oils. On a very simple example, Tucker explains this. He takes a glass of water and explains "Now you have water in this glass. We define that we would like to have the water "cold" for the next 60 minutes. What we do is to add ice cubes. Through that, we created the characteristics of the water in the glass. Synthetic oils are created the same way. By adding certain molecules, we achieve a pre-defined characteristic. And the addition of the molecules makes the oil a synthetic one".

As for fuels, the unique formulation in Shell FuelSave Diesel is designed to prevent the build-up of fuel system deposits, helping to keep fuel injectors clean and thereby promoting more optimum combustion. This can help to maintain engine efficiency in the long term, which can in turn lead to reduced fuel consumption and lower fuel-related vehicle exhaust CO2 emissions. According to Tucker Internal Shell tests in heavy-duty engines typically used in road transport vehicles have shown fuel savings of up to 3% compared to regular diesel without fuel economy formula. On top of that, the corrosion inhibitor in Shell FuelSave Diesel is also designed to help to protect critical fuel system components from corrosion and to reduce foaming when refuelling for a faster, more complete fill with reduced risk of spillage.

Energy challenge
When planning for the future it is essential to gain some understanding of what that future could look like. Today there are seven billion people living on this planet. By 2050 we expect that the population will have risen to nine billion - an increase of more than 25% in less than 40 years. Around 75% of those people will live in cities. Asia's fast-growing cities will absorb much of this growth, with three in four people living in urban centres, up from two in four today.

Today there are 800 million vehicles in the world. By 2050 we expect that there will be around two billion. Demand for energy will rise further as millions of people rise out of energy poverty. Higher living standards for millions of people will create greater energy use.

The number of cars is set to triple to 2 billion by 2050 and the number of trucks is expected to double. As this demand for transportation rises, so too will the demand for energy, in turn exerting even greater pressure on the world's finite supply of fossil fuels.

Road transport alone, accounts for around 17% of global energy use and energy-related CO2 emissions (lEA). Much of this growth is expected to occur here in Asia, with a sharp rise in vehicle numbers as economic growth and development continues even if the road is bumpier than expect in recent times.

There are three key challenges
1. The first is the need to cut emissions. Emissions here refer to both CO2 and local air emissions, affecting air quality. Both these are important to the Commercial Vehicles sector albeit the bulk of focus in the past was on the local emission side and CO2 now has more focus. We at Shell believe that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must be cut significantly if the planet is to avoid the most serious effects of global warming and climate change. By doing this does not mean we ignore the local emission piece but rather we accept that the bigger gains in the future will come from the CO2 side
2. Second, energy must work more efficiently - in fact it must become twice as efficient as it is currently. Our vision for 2050 is a world that is using 50% of the energy to produce each dollar of wealth.
3. Third and finally, we know that energy supply must become more diverse. By 2050 we believe that renewable sources will be responsible for three times the energy that they currently produce.

Fuels and lubricants have a central part to play
One given is that the internal Combustion Engine is unlikely to be replaced substantially by
alternatives in the next 15 to 20 years, therefore we need to work even more smartly with the fuels and lubricants that are powering the vehicles of today.

"We are even holding a Guinness Record for efficient fuels! This tells you a lot about our business. Shell is all about smart products and the smart use of them" he states. In today's world, we also see the creation of smart infrastructure, but it still takes a smart driver to really make a difference. In his view, it is best to follow the "10 Golden Rules for efficient drivers". With Shell FuelSave Diesel, every delivery for local transporters will become a record run as the business will benefit from a fuel that helps them save on cost.

He elaborates that "Rule number 3 is possibly the most important. If you are stationary for a longer time, you switch off the engine. That will make the biggest difference". At traffic lights one should shut down the engine when standing for more than 10 seconds. "No, there is no damage to the engine if you re-start it more often" he demystifies this common belief.

Another thing he is highlighting is the use (or non-use) of additives. Said Tucker "Shell is spending millions of USD on the design and development of fuels, such as the Shell FuelSave Diesel. Naturally, the fuel will have the best characteristics it could possibly have. We don't recommend the use of any additional additives. On the contrary: some additives are very aggressive and while they may enhance certain performance aspects, they cause major damage elsewhere."

Keeping a safe distance will help to avoid excessive breaking and accelerating. Both are also great contributors to fuel consumption. Further, the use of the air-conditioning impacts the amount of fuels used. According to Tucker, one possibility is to use the air conditioning more accentuated. In the morning, one may not need it. Or not at least on full blast.
Smart journey management and the use of Nitrogen in tyres further help to reduce fuel consumption and this improve the bottom line of transport companies.

Shell scientists are working on the creation of global products to meet the needs of truckers. To a certain extent, these products are adapted for local, specific conditions. For example, Asian countries are typically more humid and the fuels need to be prepared for this. To become a fuel scientist, one would typically study Chemistry or Engineering before joining the 200 plus Shell Fuel Scientists.

Shell Rimula Roadshow
Come September, six Grand Prize winners from Malaysia will be among global finalists from 12 countries who will put their heavy-duty driving skills to the test by driving a range of heavy vehicles through a series of obstacles. The bespoke challenges will test participants’ driving accuracy, vehicle control and teamwork in a bid to be crowned the Shell Rimula Heavyweight Driving Champion.

The 2014 Shell Rimula Global Promotion will also once again feature a nationwide road show. Whilst maintaining the ‘Hardworking’ theme that has resonated well with truckers in the past two years, this year’s Shell Rimula nationwide road show takes on a more educational approach via the Shell Rimula Technology Lab.

Meet Richard Tucker
Richard Tucker joined Shell in 1987 after completing a PhD in Chemical Engineering at
Cambridge. He joined Shell Research at Thornton in the UK where he ran a program to
enhance safety at Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities. Richard then followed o variety of roles in diesel fuels research and development (R&D) and in fuels marketing.

Richard has extensive experience developing Lubricants technology alongside Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from time spent at Shell's Westhollow Technology Centre in Houston, Texas where he was responsible for lubricants technology ond OEM relationships. He has also held o number of marketing roles for Shell in the automotive and auto components industry, and in marketing lo car dealerships ond workshops.

Today Richard is responsible for the technology development for Shell's commercial ond
industrial lubricants ond fuels. This covers lubricants ond greases for transport, agriculture,
mining, power generation ond many industrial applications ond differentiated fuels such as FuelEconomy Diesel and latterly GTL ond LNG. This involves contributions from staff based in laboratories in UK, Germany, USA" Chino ond Japan.

Richard was born in London, ond is married with two daughters.