Friday, August 27, 2010

From Tierra del Fuego to Alaska on Natural Gas

Gas station with natural gas.

Zietlow ecountered all kinds of climatic conditions: from 110°F in Colombia down to -37°F in Alaska.

Adventure under palms.

The cargo bay was occupied with additional gas tanks so Rainer Zietlow (right) and his team member Marius Biela had to spend the nights sitting on the car seats.

Ulm, 27th August 2010 – The German long-distance driver Rainer Zietlow has traversed South and North America from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska along the Pan-American Highway. He is the first person ever to complete the route using a vehicle running on natural gas. Zietlow drove a Volkswagen Caddy, which is offered in a natural-gas version as standard. “I want to prove with this tour that natural-gas vehicles have long been fit for everyday use – even in areas where there are not so many filling stations.”

Like in the U.S., where the network of filling stations supplying natural gas is sparse, and many stations are operated by businesses for private use only. This situation required some of Zietlow’s organizational talent. Even the entry from Mexico was unexpectedly difficult. A narcotics dog alerted U.S. border officials, and Zietlow suddenly found himself in handcuffs. Hours later it turned out that the dog had responded to the imperceptible smell of natural gas, which it did not know. Zietlow was allowed to enter.

The German motor oil and additives manufacturer LIQUI MOLY sponsored the car adventurer on his tour. The company wanted to know how its products would perform under such an extreme constant load. Because natural gas burns at higher temperatures, the thermal load on the engine is higher. The LIQUI MOLY Valve Protection additive works to reduce the thermal load on the valves, especially in natural-gas vehicles. The motor oil must also be heat-resistant and especially ash-free. LIQUI MOLY Top Tec 4300 5W-30 with Valve Protection withstood the constant load. “In fact, we had not the slightest problem with the engine,” said Zietlow. “No matter what the temperature, be it a searing 110°F in Colombia or a glacial -37°F in Alaska, the oil and the additive never gave out.”

Immediately prior to this tour across the two Americas, Zietlow completed a drive with his CNG Caddy from the Atlantic coast of Portugal to the Pacific coast of Japan.

LIQUI MOLY GmbH from Ulm in South Germany offers a wide range of qualitative high-quality products such as motor oils, additives, vehicle care products and service products. The range includes some 4000 items. LIQUI MOLY develops and tests their products in their own laboratories, manufactures exclusively in Germany and markets all of their products themselves. LIQUI MOLY was founded some 50 years ago and is now one of the leading companies in the industry. The products are sold in Germany and in 90 other countries. In the U.S., LIQUI MOLY products are available under the brand LUBRO MOLY.

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