Saturday, September 10th, 2011
Opal fuel is a low aromatic fuel that is manufactured solely by BP Australia at BP's Kwinana Refinery in Western Australia. It was developed by Australian chemists in 2005 in response to the growing petrol sniffing problem among the aboriginal communities. Regular unleaded fuel is made up of about 25% aromatics such as benzene, ortho-xylene, para-xylene, and toluene. Sniffing these aromatics gives people a euphoric high feeling, but can lead to brain damage and death. Opal fuel contains only 5% of these aromatics. After a few years of making Opal fuel available to sample communities in Central Australia, research has shown a significant decline in petrol sniffing. In 2008 an Executive Summary for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing a listed result of this evaluation was that overall the whole area had a 60% drop in petrol sniffing, with a few communities having as much as a 90% decline.

Opal fuel has an octane rating of 91, which is identical to regular unleaded fuel per regulations set by the Australian Fuel Quality Standards Act of 2000. It can be used in any car or boat that requires regular unleaded 91 octane fuel. Driveability testing in 2004 comparing Opal fuel to regular unleaded fuel showed no significant difference in vehicle performance . Service stations that carry Opal fuel will not sell regular unleaded fuel as this is part of the Australian Government's Petrol Sniffing Prevention Program initiative to stem the petrol sniffing problem. However, you will not pay more as Opal fuel is subsidised under the Australian Government's Petrol Sniffing Prevention Program, keeping the price the same as the regular unleaded 91 octane fuel. Opal fuel is highly convenient in the aspect that it can be mixed with regular unleaded fuel and it will not affect the vehicle's performance. Another advantage of Opal fuel is that it contains a formulated technology that breaks down sooty deposits in the engine that regular unleaded fuel leave behind. Laboratory tests show that this type of fuel can clean up to 20% of the deposits that build up on the inlet valves and other important internal engine parts. This is extremely beneficial to keeping your engine maintained and running properly.

Opal fuel is also better for the environment. Due to its formulation of low aromatics, Opal fuel burns very clean. Sampling analysis in 2007 also shows Opal fuel to have a lower sulphur and olefin content. In standard testing of tailpipe emissions and exhaust air toxics in 2004, Opal fuel was compared to regular unleaded 91 octane fuel. Overall, the cars that were run on Opal fuel tested lower for regulated exhaust emissions and also tested about 45% lower for air toxics. Upon being tested by an independent toxicologist, it was said to be the least toxic fuel when speaking in terms of chronic exposure.

Contact Profile

BP - Opal Fuel

BP has created a low aromatic fuel called Opal Fuel to help deter petrol sniffing in rural areas of Australia. Petrol sniffing is a life threatening issue for many people living in remote communities.
BP - Opal Fuel
P: 03 9268 4757


low aromatic fuel, petrol sniffing, fuel economy, bp, opal, opal fuel



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