Carbon neutral motor oil the way of the future for SA motorists

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Carbon neutral motor oil can be better for your engine than traditional crude oil. (Image, Getty Images)
Carbon neutral motor oil can be better for your engine than traditional crude oil. (Image, Getty Images)

As the automotive industry continues to look at cleaner, more affordable alternatives in the production of cars, new carbon neutral oil products are hitting the SA market to give motorists cleaner options without compromising on performance.

The move toward offsetting carbon emissions in the motor oil industry is part of the broader international climate agreement to take responsibility for unavoidable carbon emissions in our lifetime.

A company can 'offset' their carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits. These credits are invested in carbon reduction projects around the globe and ensures that a unit of carbon released in one area will be reduced to the same unit elsewhere.

In countries such as the US, American car manufacturers have announced plans to invest billions of dollars into producing carbon neutral fleets as President Joe Biden sets a goal of “clean cars” to make up half of all sales by 2030.

Now, big gains have been made in the use of carbon neutral motor oil products too, with oil manufacturers committing to offsetting their carbon emissions in the products they create.

What is carbon neutral oil?

According to, for a company to achieve carbon neutral certification, it needs to measure the carbon footprint of a product, develop a reduction plan to lower emissions and purchase sufficient carbon credits to cover emissions.

A global company, like Shell, has a portfolio of nature-based carbon credits which compensate for emissions from all stages of the lifecycle of their products. This can include acquisition of raw materials, packaging, production, distribution and customer use, as well as the product’s end of life. Each credit represents the avoidance of greenhouse gases equivalent to 1 tonne of CO2.

With the use of carbon neutral motor oil, companies can greatly reduce their carbon emissions in the usage of their products and thereby achieve carbon neutral certification. By setting a goal of using more than 200 million litres of synthetic lubricants – the equivalent of 700 000 tons of carbon dioxide annually – this is the equivalent of removing 340 000 cars off the road for one year.

Some of Shell’s local initiatives in South Africa include 100% recycled carton material, recycled cage and IBC packaging; and recycled black pails.

How does it help your engine?

Shell Helix Carbon Neutral engine oils are made from a 99.5% pure base oil by its Pureplus Technology. It is a gas-to-liquid process that converts natural gas into a pure base oil with stronger molecular bonds. It can be used for engines such as modern petrol engines, diesel engines without particulate filters, and gas engines.

Shell Helix Carbon neutral motor oil helps provide greater protection against engine stress and wear using a modern synthetic made from natural gas. It is stronger and less volatile at the molecular level than motor oil made from traditional crude oil, and thus provides better resistance to oil degradation and less evaporation.

It can also withstand very high and very low temperatures.

Shell Downstream SA launches new lubricants

Shell Downstream South Africa has just introduced a range of lubricants which will make it easier for South African motorists to make responsible choices with far lower emission levels.

Led by their Shell Helix Ultra brand, Shell is the world’s biggest supplier of carbon neutral lubricants. The global firm sells approximately 5 billion litres of lubricants annually to the consumer and commercial automotive industries, aviation, marine, mining, power generation, and industrial sectors. It also offers specialised lubricants for hybrid vehicles, as well as e-Fluids that help electric vehicles perform better and more efficiently.

Shell Helix Ultra
Shell Helix Ultra provides cleaner options without compromising performance. (Image supplied by Shell)

The Helix Ultra Brand provides up to 32% better resistance to oil degradation than the latest industry standard, and up to 50% less evaporation. The Helix Ultra's fully synthetic PurePlus technology offers maximum protection in both very hot and extreme cold climates, lubricating engines up to degrees of 1000 °C, and as low as -40 °C.

"We know our customers choose Shell Helix Ultra because it is designed for ultimate engine performance and improved fuel economy. But they also are looking for ways to lower emissions and reduce their own net carbon footprint, and – as the world’s leading lubricants supplier – Shell has an important role to play. That is why I am pleased to announce that our customers can now enjoy the benefits they have come to expect from Shell Helix Ultra in a carbon neutral way," says Shell Downstream South Africa Director, Ade Ajala.

Shell Helix Ultra Carbon Neutral products are available in the following viscosity grades; Helix Ultra Racing 10W-60; Helix Ultra 5W-30, Helix Ultra 5W-40 and Helix Ultra 0W40.

It is a product trusted by Scuderia Ferrari, Hyundai and other big automotive companies to deliver more power, performance in any temperature and five times better cleaning.

"This initiative is part of a broader commitment by Shell to offer customers carbon neutral lubricants across a range of products for passenger cars, heavy duty diesel engines, and industrial applications," the company said.

"As part of Shell Lubricants, we understand customers and consumers expect brands to offer sustainable products and services and make it easier for them to make sustainable choices."

Shell's target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society's progress in achieving the goal of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change.

For further information on Shell’s investments in natural ecosystems visit:

For more on Shell's carbon neutral aspiration visit:

This post was sponsored by Shell and produced by BrandStudio24 for Wheels24.

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