Euro 4M RON 97 fuel in Malaysia – what does it mean?

RON_95_vs_RON_97_Fuel_Test_Malaysia_ 017

Come September 2015 – that’s next month, in case you forget – RON 97 petrol fuel in Malaysia will be upgraded to a new European Fuel Directive standard, Euro 4M to replace the existing Euro 2M grade. Petronas, as we’ve been told, is already selling its Euro 4M RON 97 fuel in Peninsular Malaysia, and will officially launch it nationwide tomorrow (as revealed on its website).

So what’s this Euro 4M fuel all about – is it important?

In short, yes, it definitely is. We spoke to Petronas fuel technical expert, Chan Ming-Yau, who said that, “in essence, Euro 4M RON 97 is cleaner, adhering to a higher quality standard than before, which then leads to less vehicle emissions.” There are three major differences and improvements, concerning the fuel’s sulphur content, vapour/evaporative pressure and benzene content.

Petronas Chan Ming-yau

The most significant change is, of course, the reduction of sulphur from the current level of 500 parts per million (ppm) to just 50 ppm, as required by Euro 4M specifications. That’s a 90% decrease!

Sulphur is a naturally-occurring element present in crude oil, and has to be removed through a series of complex and costly processes. The source and/or mix of the crude oil used and the extent to which the sulphur is removed during the refining process will have to be altered to achieve the required content levels.

What’s so bad about sulphur, anyway? Well, after the combustion process within the engine, the remaining sulphur will be converted to sulphur dioxide and released into the environment. This can lead to the occurrence of acid rain, if left unchecked.

sulphur level
Fuel sulphur levels in Asia-Pacific (as of April 2014), by the United Nations Environment Programme

Moreover, for more modern vehicles with advanced emission control technologies (exhaust aftertreatment systems), high sulphur content in the fuel may “poison” the catalysts within the system. Thus, the catalytic convertors will be less effective at converting toxic pollutants in the exhaust gas to less toxic pollutants.

The use of Euro 4M fuel will help “protect” these precious metal catalysts. Also, the advent of a higher quality fuel with less than 50 ppm of sulphur allows the use of more advanced/effective three-way catalysts, which ultimately leads to better air quality for all.

Newer gasoline direct injection engines, especially – with its more diesel-like properties, more prone to emit exhaust soot (you can see the black soot build-up in the exhaust outlet of a Peugeot 208 GTi below) – will produce less sulphates/particulate matter with Euro 4M fuel.


Another change with Euro 4M standard is a lower, better vapour pressure for the fuel. With the tighter specifications of Euro 4M, the fuel’s “volatility” is reduced, with its evaporative pressure now decreased from 70 kPA (Euro 2M) to 65 kPA.

With this change in properties in place, the fuel will be less prone to evaporate, be it in the fuel tank or during the refueling process. When fuel evaporates into the air, not only is it a waste, it’s also harmful to the environment. Euro 4M fuel ensures that less of the volatile organic compounds present in fuel such as C4, C5 and C6 hydrocarbons, are released into the environment.

The third change concerning Euro 4M fuel is no less vital – the reduction of benzene content from five percent (Euro 2M) to 3.5%. Benzene is a highly volatile compound that is a known carcinogen. Human exposure to benzene has been associated with a range of acute and long-term adverse health effects and diseases, including cancer and aplastic anaemia.

This is pretty self-explanatory. The lower, the better, obviously.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 12.54.10 PM

So that’s about it from a content perspective. Of course, there are other benefits to using the new higher quality RON 97 fuel. Petronas, for instance, claims that its new Primax 97 Euro 4M fuel is geared towards offering superior acceleration, on top of all the environmental benefits detailed above.

We’ll know more about Petronas’ new Euro 4M RON 97 blend when it’s officially launched tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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Hafriz Shah

Preferring to drive cars rather than desks, Hafriz Shah ditched his suit and tie to join the ranks of Malaysia’s motoring hacks. A car’s technical brilliance is completely lost on him, appreciating character-making quirks more. When not writing this ego trip of a bio, he’s usually off driving about aimlessly, preferably in a car with the right combination of three foot pedals and six gears.



  • Jay Law on Aug 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    It’s about time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2
    • Proton cars can use?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5
      • ron100 on Aug 18, 2015 at 4:44 pm

        no cannot sure blow the rofftop due to malaysian made

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 25
      • Aero (Member) on Aug 19, 2015 at 10:26 pm

        All of Protons newer models are Euro 4 compliant. The CamPro Turbo is even Euro 5 ready.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7
    • Petrol Smell on Aug 18, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      I can smell that M’sian o&g cos are loosing money on this… You can’t keep producing euro 2m products when the whole world are doing either euro4 or euro5, you just wont get the right economical volume.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1
  • kemosabe on Aug 18, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    How about RON95 petrol?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 1
    • Gargantia on Aug 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Wait for the cronies to make more profitable “plan” then you may think about it…

      Cronies country aka false state and rogue state… But he never admit !

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 12
    • alldisc on Aug 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      just head to any BP stations (they got supply from singapore which is already using euro4 petrol).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4
  • Good to hear this. But petrol stations owned by cronies in Malaysia are infamous for cheating. How do we know we’re really getting the real deal?

    As the Chinese saying goes, some people might “hang sheep head but selling dog meat”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 26
    • i wonder why chinese have this saying?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
      • kobbn on Jan 15, 2016 at 11:47 pm

        It’s a Chinese’s phrase, means you hanging a sheep head infront of your shop but you selling dog meat to customers… you put introduce a thing but selling another thing

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • nabill (Member) on Aug 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Alot of the new cars have to adjust their ecu to work with our existing low quality fuel, jus curious on whether we need to flash a new firmware to get the maximum effect n efficiency with the new fuel or the ecu can adjust itself??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  • Heskey on Aug 18, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Most importantly can my car go faster or not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3
  • flipper2uman (Member) on Aug 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Does not move the needle when it comes to reducing air pollution as the majority of users still use the Euro 2 RON 95 fuel for their vehicles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0
  • modesto.hann on Aug 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Only more civic minded people will use this new fuel as the benefits derived from it are more for public betterment than individual betterment.Government should introduce it in subsidized ron 95 fuel than ron 97 in order to encourage people to use. Will our government ever care?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 5
  • 97Ron on Aug 18, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I understand that 95Ron fuel is GST exempted but not 97Ron though I stand to be corrected. If that is correct, I would be paying additional taxes to the government’s coffers while I perform the dutiful part in trying to keep the air we breathe clean.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0
    • In some EU countries, the industries and people are levied Carbon Tax to spur environmentalism and reduce pollution.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  • tongkatuk on Aug 18, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Mengarut… kalau betul betul nak jaga environment buatlah pada minyak ron 95… lebih ramai guna lebih environmental friendly…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 1
  • If you see the geo chart, you will understand that it is pointless for us to go for better fuel. Indon is still using high sulfur fuels yet their air pollution is conveniently “donated” to us every year.
    No point if we cleanup but the pollution still comes to us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 20
  • Sharon on Aug 18, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    How about the balance stock for RON 97 which still available at the petrol station?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Paul, can you do an experiment on the superior acceleration claims by Petronas? Use 3 same model cars and have each loaded with different fuel.
    Car 1: Ron97 Euro 4M by Petronas
    Car 2: Ron97 Euro 4M/2M by other companies
    Car 3: Ron95 Euro 2M Petronas or other companies

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 2
  • albag on Aug 18, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    why only Peninsular??? Sarawak Sabah how??? East Malaysia discrimination is it???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7
    • Jubo Taik on Aug 18, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      East Malaysia are poor and uncivilized, no need euro4m..use minyak masak good oledi

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 55
      • albag on Aug 19, 2015 at 3:10 pm

        poor and uncivilized my arse! you people in Peninsular are full racists and retards u talking uncivilized??? u dunno a thing don’t simply say..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3
      • Hadi75 on Aug 20, 2015 at 12:29 am

        You’re the one that are uncivilized……

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9
    • tokmoh. on Aug 18, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      Well, there is an answer to that, but it may be too bitter to swallow. U know, I know.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5
      • albag on Aug 19, 2015 at 3:11 pm

        how about you people in Peninsular all songlap kaw kaw and keep the best thing to yourselves?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
  • Ivan Max on Aug 18, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Dear Chan, so basically what you have told us is all about the environment. I think most of the car drivers won’t give much priority to the environment (as they enjoy their air-cond). Plus no matter how clean the EURO4 fuel is but with our shitty diesel Lorry 2M engines is enough to bring pollution up to 1000 cars combined (visually).

    Also most of us would like to know if it is fuel saving and I noticed you purposely left out the % lets say – vaporative pressure now decreased from 70 kPA (Euro 2M) to 65 kPA which makes up only 7% lets see if the price can make up for the savings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0
    • I support you.
      Biased Report.

      So Many people trying to change the world.
      rather than helping people. :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Rangers on Aug 18, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    so funny, before this Euro4M, those argue/defend oil price cheaper than other countries never mentioned about the lousy quality supplied, then suddenly now the petrol match par to the world and says need to pay more for quality…LOL…these bunch of fake leaders that looting the country and bend their logic of black and white to defend own benefits!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1
    • If you dunno how petrol refinement is done and the cost involved for each level, I suggest you better do some reading before commenting.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6
      • Gomorrah on Aug 19, 2015 at 1:32 pm

        Ranger you are on the right track – this is not about the cost of refinement for the different grades; it is about appropriate comparison. Prior to this the ministers keep going on and on about how our fuel is cheap when all the while comparing Euro 2M to Euro 4 or 5 in other countries. How can that be an accurate comparison? They even compare cost per litre while conveniently omitting the fuel standard. Compare the cost of the fuels of the same Euro standard and RON rating then talk la. Why do we need a special M rating? Why can’t we just use the fuel as specified in the Euro standard? Refer this link and see that we are still getting shortchanged.
        And to preempt the “Malaysian’s cannot pay for the fuel that’s why the government has to do this” discussion let’s ask ourselves these questions :- 1. Why do we as an oil producing nation have to pay full price and tax? 2. Why does our GDP not allow us to purchase at full price? 3. What is the government doing in terms of regulating emission standards of local vehicles/safety equipment levels for the outrageous prices being paid? 4. Why are salaries not being indexed to CPI so that people can afford to deal with rising costs? The list can go on and on. The politicians are the ones who need to do more reading before running their mouths off. Then again with the type of stuff coming out of their mouths surprising that mouthwash companies here are not making a massive profit.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  • brianxyz on Aug 18, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Who cares? Just launch any fuel that you like. Please don’t increase the fuel price enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2
  • tishaban on Aug 19, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Hafriz you didn’t ask the difficult questions:

    1. why Euro 4M when the rest of the world is at Euro 5 going to Euro 6. If Petronas is refining this fuel themselves, did they just invest in a refinery for decades old technology? Also most people use RON97 by choice, not out of necessity. Why not go all the way to Euro 5 or Euro 6 for a fuel that’s an option?

    2. what about RON95? Where is the Euro 4M RON95 option and when is it coming?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
  • xoxox on Aug 19, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Euro 4M RON95 is probably coming in late 2016 or…forgot already…got announced before. hmm…Thailand fuel grade is better than Malaysia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • kit chen on Aug 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    i believe care for environment is better than save money, i am practice like this, everytime just pump RM60( since no need full tank for city use because will increase weight burden) for RON97 4M, dint feel any big problem on my financial . Engine life will last long and you will more love your car and smile is increasing . :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Is Toyota vios 1.5G 2014spec suitable for ron97 euro 4M?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

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