Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 14, 2016 at 9:30 pm.
Preface Comment, May 18, 2007 : The following material was compiled in the late Spring of 2006, while the company yet denied that the product contains Naphthalene. As of its re-launch on May 17, 2007, the new website states that the product contains a small amount of Naphthalene "as a dispersant". The following page is retained as a chronicle of the debate that ensued due to independent laboratory discovery of Naphthalene in the product, and the companies attempts to deny and explain. -- Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan
The purpose of this page is to address the question of the similarities and differences between Directory:BioPerformance Fuel and Naphthalene, the ingredient of past mothballs.
Napthalene has been used in fuel to effect octane, and has been used in the past to improve mileage, but has long-term detrimental effects. Naphthalene is a toxic substance, with carcinogenic attributes.
Officials from BioPerformance say that BioPerformance fuel is safe and does not contain Naphthalene.
In Chemistry, one atom difference makes a different molecule (combination/arrangement of joined atoms), with a different name, and altered reactivity characteristics. But the similarities are usually greater than the differences.
This issue was recently brought to a head by a WESH I-Team investigative report (video) (transcript), May 4, 2006. They asked two professors from the University of Central Florida to analyze the product. Chemical analysis concluded: Naphthalene, nearly 100%.
A response by the manufacturer of BP said that BP does contain some naphthanate, which is similar chemically to naphthalene, but non-toxic, as well as having superior performance in terms of fuel economy enhancement.
The Univ. of Central Florida then ran additional tests, and said the Naphthenate chemical signature is missing in BioPerformance, and that the pills are definitely Naphthalene. (WESH May 16, 2006)
At least two other
There was an error working with the wiki: Code have confirmed that the BioPerformance additive is composed primarily of Naphthalene.
Meanwhile : Texas State Attorney General Shuts Down BioPerformance - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on May 17 filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against Texas-based BioPerformance, Inc. (PESN May 17, 2006)
: State of TX vs. BioPerformance Fuel, Inc. - Judge sets court date for Sept. 18, and allows the unfreezing of some funds to cover expense of preparing defense, including running necessary tests. (PESN May 31, June 1, 2006)
The pertinent questions to be asked are:
Does BioPerformance contain Naphthalene?
If not, how similar is the primary chemical that it does contain?
Is BioPerformance fuel safe for a vehicle's fuel system?
Is BioPerformance non-toxic?
Dr. Kevin Belfield, Professor of Chemisty and head of the Chemistry department at the University of Central Florida, tested BioPerformance fuel in comparison to Naphthalene.
Top line is BioPerformance
Lower line is naphthalene
"The spectra are identical"
Chromatograph comparison was also parallel.
His conclusion: "BioPerformance is almost 100% naphthalene, the rest is coloring."
Source: WESH I-Team investigative report (May 4, 2006)
The Naphthenate signature is missing in the BioPerformance spectra, according to follow-up analysis at the University of Central Florida, as reported on May 16, 2006. The product definitely contains mostly Napthalene. (WESH)
"Scientists who tested the product at the University of Texas at Austin and at a Florida university concluded that the pills are mainly naphthalene, the chemical found in mothballs." (Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott press release May 17, 2006.)
http://bioperformancepro.com/ - California state-certified laboratory, Enviro-Chem, reports that the product contains naphthalene. Dated May 19, 2006
A U.S. Army lab, which cannot be listed because of the politics of product relations, reported that BioPerformance contains 96.4% Naphthalene, a few other things in very small quantity, and "the rest was coloring". Referring name on file with PES Network Inc. Reported May 22, 2006.
BioPerformance product smells very strongly of naphthalene. It's a highly pervasive smell, and hard to block.
BioPerformance powder has a crystaline appearance resembling naphthalene
Enviro-Max-Plus uses naphthalene as its key ingredient, along with other ingredients.
Mothballs come in two forms: p-dichlorobenzene and naphthalene. Naphthalene's effect in the fuel appears to be mostly benigh, while p-dichlorobenzene is strongly counterindicated.
Naphthalene can greatly enhance the output and efficiency of internal combustion engines because it is an octane enhancer.
However, in a solid form i.e. flakes, powder, etc., the following can result with continued use: Due to the ratio of carbon to hydrogen in the molecules, an engine will eventually get loaded with carbon deposits, but only if the fuel filter doesn't clog, or if the injector pump doesn't fail, or if the injectors don't get plugged up first. Fuel system failure is common with continued use of Naphthalene.
"The legend of mothballs as an octane enhancer arose well before WWII when
naphthalene was used as the active ingredient. Today, the majority of
mothballs use para-dichlorobenzene in place of naphthalene.
"In the 1920s, typical gasoline octane ratings were 40-60
, and during the 1930s and 40s, the ratings increased by approximately 20
units as alkyl leads and improved refining processes became widespread .
"Naphthalene has a blending motor octane number of 90 , so the addition of
a significant amount of mothballs could increase the octane, and they were
soluble in gasoline. The amount usually required to appreciably increase the
octane also had some adverse effects. The most obvious was due to the high
melting point ( 80C ), when the fuel evaporated the naphthalene would
precipitate out, blocking jets and filters.
"With modern gasolines,
naphthalene is more likely to reduce the octane rating, and the amount
required for low octane fuels will also create operational and emissions
"Mothballs will slightly assist the octane rating of gasoline. HOWEVER, in
that grain of truth there lurks the potential for disaster. One must use very
few mothballs (naphthalene only) because the ratio of carbon to hydrogen in
the molecules makes for a very dirty burning fuel. Too many mothballs and your
engine will load up with carbon deposits -- very bad news in the performance
"Unless your engine is high compression and in need of high octane
fuel, enhancing the octane rating of the fuel over what is required is simply
a waste of money. High octane fuel burned in an engine designed for lower
octane fuel does not increase engine power.
"The ignition system whether old fashioned carburetor or new
fashioned solid state, is not "expecting" an aromatic hydrocarbon. The
fuel/air combustion mix is going to be very smokey and possibly foul up the
engine, the fuel injectors (if present), and make a mess of you catalytic
converter. Sounds like a good way to mess up an engine to me." (Ask a Scientist)
"Your car may not be fuel-injected.
"You would have to crush about five mothballs for every gallon and put it in your gas tank." (Binghamton Univ.)
Quoted from this CarTalk Page regarding Naphthalene:
Tom: The kind of mothball you mention, Donald, is made of "naphthalene" which is a hydrocarbon, like gasoline. For those chemical engineers reading today, it's C10H8, and it looks like two benzene rings fused together. Jim says that benzene makes a very smoky fire when burned, so his guess is that naphthalene would make a lousy gasoline. On the other hand, he says, since it's just carbon and hydrogen (like gasoline) NAPHTHALENE WOULDN'T DO ANY HARM TO THE ENGINE EITHER.
Most modern mothballs are composed of paradichlorobenzene, not naphthalene.
DO NOT use moth crystals (paradichlorobenzene). The chlorine atoms in this material becomes HCl upon combustion. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is very destructive to engine internals. (Ask a Scientist)
Naphthalene toxicity - (PubMed.org / NIH.gov)
"According to US EPA's IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System) using criteria of the 1986 Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, naphthalene is classified in Group C, a possible human carcinogen." (Binghamton Univ.)
The following chemicals are of the bi-cyclic formation:
The following was reported on June 1, 2006.
One of the key questions has to do with the allegation that the product is nothing more than Naphthalene (moth balls) -- which, incidentally, historically has been attributed to increasing mileage. The company has denied that the product is Naphthalene, but has said it is Naphthenate. However, when chemists have tested the product, it has registered as Naphthalene, with no Naphthenate signature.
Danny Schipp explained as follows.
The difference between Naphthalene and Naphthenate is one carbon. In the BioPerformance product, that one carbon is associated with the enzyme that makes the product what it is in terms of its performance. At 102 degrees Farenheit, the enzymes begin to break down. At 116 degrees, they are inactivated.
The process used by the chemists to determine the chemical composition entails heating the product in an oven, which obviously is going to effect the enzyme. What effectively happens is that the Naphthenate-enzyme molecule is transformed into Naphthalene.
This heat factor may also explain why some customers do not see results -- the product having been deactivated in the heat found at some point in delivery, such as a hot mail truck.
Schipps tells customers and distributors to put the powder in a thermos when they receive it, and this seems to help keep it viable if it was viable when it arrived.
One has to wonder about the feasibility of a product designed to be added to a fuel system, that is inactivated in heat that is actually quite typical of a hot car or trunk sitting in the sun. Clearly, precautions in shipping and storage are in order, and should be part of the company documentation.
Source: Official BioPerformance powerpoint presentation Slide 14
Critical Observations Regarding the Above Chart:
The percentages given do not compute. There is no "other" classification, with corresponding percentage, in the first set of ingredients, to then be expanded in the second set of percentages. The percentages should total 100. This error shows a non-functional mathematical understanding of whoever prepared the chart.
There is no such thing as "N/A" for percentage of an ingredient ("N/A" is given for the first ingredient percentage above). If something exists in the product, then it should be represented by a percentage.
The "Aromatic Substances and Hydrocarbons" would be the Naphthalene analogue(s), which this chart claims to comprise a mere 10% of the product, compared to the "nearly 100%" reported by the chemist from the University of Central Florida, mentioned above.
COMMENT : The company provides simplified information to the public. This may be an example of "over simplification" where a little more context would lead to greater understanding. (Peter Lindemann)
On May 10, 2006, BioPerformance Inc. has released an Official Letter from the Manufacturer of BioPerformance Fuel, stating that BioPerformance Fuel consists of organic Naphthenates - NOT Naphthalenes. Click here to download the official letter. (go-bp.com)
On May 8, 2006, AR Asociados Consultores, the manufacturer of the BioPerformance product, provided the following response, which was made available May 10, 2006.
: "Because of the recent slanderous remarks by the news media concerning our product, we would like to clear the air once and for all. We protect our product from any false accusations. We will now correct the false accusations concerning our product being made from moth balls, being toxic, hurting vehicles and not giving people any savings.
: "As you well know, naphthenates, naphthalenes, and other compounds from the same family are derived from hydrocarbons – aromatic substances like camphor, gasoline, petroleum, soft coal, or from the camphor tree. Naphthalenes were obtained from the tree, and then, in more recent times, from soft coal. They are combined with metals, organic components, etc., to obtain a naphthenate. We use organic naphthenates. When a naphthalene is converted into a naphthenate, we change the frequency and together with a dispersant we get a very large surface for the catalyzer to work. Catalyzers work by surface and not by mass. This is why our product is made of naphthenates, not naphthalenes. Naphthalenes are much larger crystals and are not useful for our purpose. Therefore, our product is not mothballs.
: "Maybe if you use naphthalene, it may work a while, but you need to have a larger surface for it to work as a catalyst. The frequency of the matter allows us to work much better in catalyzing. This transformation makes the crystals we use, when they contact the gasoline, because of the dispersants, disappear and only the molecules stay.
: "Also, as you can see in our Security Officer’s Material Safety Data Sheet, our product is not toxic. I know if you put a piece of carbon and a diamond under the chromatographer, they both are the same product: carbon. However, we all know, they are not the same. During the 50 years of testing to get our product working by many people, we have never had any trouble with vehicles, as the product completely dissolves in the combustible, and thus becomes part of it. However, if the gas or diesel tanks have too many impurities, the gas lines and filters may clog. The product takes about 8 hours to act at 100% dissolving skims, incrustation of HC existing in tanks, tubes, pumps and injection systems, cleaning them as time goes by, depending upon the thickness of such incrustations. It does not harm the combustion system in any way according to our ISO 9000 Lab Tests."
REBUTTAL This "Official Letter from the Manufacturer" is not signed and there is no address or contact info. This name is different than as shown on the MSDS.
Posted May 21, 2006
Attorney General To Investigate Little Green Pill Claims - Florida and Kentucky Attorney General's offices are investigating. Said that Univ. of Central Florida tested BP again to see if it was Naphthalene or Naphthenate, and concluded once again: Naphthalene. Checked out phone number on MSDS sheet, and it went to a person's cell phone with a message: "If this is about BioPerformance or BioPlus, I am not affiliated with either one." (WESH May 16, 2006)
On May 7, 2006, Lowell Mims, CEO of BioPerformance, Inc. gave the following response:
"Is BioPerformance Fuel made of highly toxic mothballs? Answer: BioPerformance Fuel is non-toxic according to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
: "[The pills are] non toxic, non flammable at room temperature, not water soluble and do not cause skin nor respiratory system irritation. It is a biodegradable enzymatic catalyzer made of an organic chemical formula, mainly an enzyme. It remains stable and active in a mixture of hydrocarbonic and aromati c substances. The use of this product is safe for the environment as a result of reduced formation of carbon monoxide, corrosive acids, and other reactive compounds found in current combustion engine emissions."
He then cited several documents regarding testing that had been done on the product, confirming its safety, including two reports by ISO 9000 certified labs.
MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheet
Endorsement from Danny Shipp - automotive technician for 26 years and ASE Certified at the Master Level.
The last three of these four reports are of course totally irrelevant to the question of whether the material is safe or not, and whether or not it is predominantly Naphthalene (the links are broken, but the data can be found elsewhere). What is interesting is to compare the physical properties given in the Data Sheet with those for Naphthalene, and note that the density and vapor density are identical between the two products - which strongly suggests that they are at least closely related.
Doc Fog is one of the BioPerformance heavyweights. He gave the following statement around May 22, 2006
: "...How could 2 labs and 4 PhD's find this in the product that claims to be non toxic? Here is what I think I heard and I know the man of credential that went with me found it to be the invention of the century. We found science did not accept the fact that 3 live plant enzymes could be made to attach to a dispersant and attack fuel by breaking down the molecule bonds - allowing fuel to burn more completely and with less harmful emissions. Science accepts the fact that naphthalene can be made into napthalate by attaching a metal and it becomes non toxic. Science does not accept that the metal can be replaced by a live enzyme. This man has done just that. He has gotten 3 enzymes to attach to a dispersant. It is pure genius. So how can a product that is mostly enzymes go into 2 labs and come out as toxic naphthalene in their test. He said, "Simple... they destroyed the live enzymes in their test because their test raises the temperature to a level that cooks off and kills the enzymes leaving naphthalene. In other words they changed the product! ..."
Enzymes are delicate. I would think that a fuel tank and fuel line going into a hot engine and then combustion chamber would not be a very good place for enzymes to hang out. Furthermore, if they are so delicate, perhaps this explains why some people's product doesn't work. It gets killed in transit. Those UPS and other postal vehicles and facilities get hot.
Shouldn't there be some environmental controls in the shipment of the product if it is so delicate?
Now, regarding this statement: "their test raises the temperature to a level that cooks off and kills the enzymes leaving naphthalene..."
If that is true, then BP should be understanding as to why these tests are showing "Naphthalene", and rather than be all skulky, they should just come right out and give the chemical reason why the chemists are finding Naphthalene. They should be especially sensitive to this need inasmuch as the company has been so adamant in saying the product doesn't contain Naphthalene. Apparently, according to this reasoning, under the conditions found in the lab, the product turns into Naphthalene. I would think that those same conditions exist in an automobile -- namely heat.
No, I'm not satisfied by this answer. At best, it raises far more questions than it answers.
-- SilverThunder 12:49, 23 May 2006 (EDT)
A BP Vice President gave teh following explanation on May 10, 2006
"What was not said by the reporters is that the company agreed to do an interview as long as they would air it in its entirety and the company would sign off on it before it was aired. They did not want this, they only wanted to sensationalize and slant a story to their liking. Negative sells!"
In response to the story and allegations by the WESH I-Team investigative report, BioPerformance has announced that a PR Attorney will be launching an official lawsuit. BioPerformance Inc. President Lowell Mims has backed the lawsuit, and stated, "I believe in our product and our distributors."
It is important to remember that this story originated with the News Media. Look at these facts: For months on the internet, many people have doubted the legitimacy of the BioPerformance Fuel Pill - even to point of questioning the ISO9000 lab tests. Why does no one question the legitimacy of the News Media reports? Is the University of Central Florida an accredited ISO laboratory? Did they conduct tests according to the product instructions? How do we verify their story? SO WHY DO PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY SAY "Oops, BioPerformance has lied, they do false advertising, they are a scam!"?
The reporter who conducted the test of the product did not conduct it in accordance to the directions of use for the product. The ratios of product were off considerably. The driving conditions were not real and the lab was not certified, accredited or valid in any way. He even said, "We dumped a whole bunch of pills into the tank.? We all know ratios are important when achieving optimal results with this product - or any product have you tested your computers CPU by overclocking 25% more than recommended? Your CPU would crash and burn. Oh well, I suppose that particular CPU manufacturer was a false advertiser when they stated that their CPU could be overclocked to 19%. Too much or too little can actually have adverse effects with BioPerformance - as well as Ethos and FFI by the way.
The reporter claims that BP Fuel is mere mothballs with coloring and even showed a graph to support her “claims.? It all appeared pretty valid, but, what they forgot to mention is that BioPerformance Fuel is made up of 3 enzymes and a catalyst. Chemistry 101. You can’t reverse engineer an enzyme. This alone completely invalidates her entire story - in other words, she lied. BioPerformance Fuel has been the goto product for saving gas for 18 years. It’s been virtually competition free because IT SIMPLY CANNOT BE COPIED! Or reverse engineered to find out what’s in it. Visit The Go-BP.com Response Page to read more rebuttals to skeptics and questions about the company, product, and character of BioPerformance Inc.
Congress:Member:Sterling D. Allan, BP Dealer since Feb. and owner of this website, gave the following reply on May 9, 2006:
My college degree and graduate work was in Microbiology and Physiology. I'm familiar with the chemistry methods described in the WESH I-Team investigative report. I will tell you that they are highly credible. BioPerformance would have much more credibility, in my opinion, if they would acknowledge the naphthalene similarity, and tell us that the formula they use is modified so that the product is safe and so it performs better as a fuel economy enhancer. But they don't do that. Rather, they flat out deny the report. That is a huge red flag in my estimation, because the similarities to naphthalene are extensive.
Also, the tread-mill test that was done was highly scientific, using methods used for documenting race car performance. They did multiple runs "before" and multiple runs "with the product" -- 1000 miles in all. And the crushed the pills and dissolved them in the fuel before adding them to the car. They also followed the instructions on the BP website for the amount to add.
My results, from my testing, in my two vehicles have been similar to what the I-Team reported. No change in one vehicle, and 3-6% increase in the other (which is within the noise range from driving differences). Not all vehicles respond to BP with a mileage increase.
BioPerformance powder does NOT burn. EPA registration means Environmentally friendly - non-toxic. Mothballs are toxic. So there is a difference. BioPerformance Fuel is not simply "mothballs with food coloring." If you are a graduate in microbiology and physiology, then perhaps you should be the one to explain how there could be such stark differences between the two! I do agree the formula would be useful to know, but it is certainly not necessary to prove that BioPerformance Fuel works. If you have experienced no significant results with BP Fuel, perhaps you need your fuel filter replaced - or your O2 sensor adjusted (as mentioned on my Go-BP response page.) Don't give up just yet.
May 10, 2006
You are incorrect about EPA registration. "All gasoline and diesel motor vehicle fuel additives are required to be registered in accordance with the regulations at 40CFR 79." (EPA.gov) Registration does not say anything about the quality of the product. The BioPerformance website acknowledges as much.
As for the similarities between the Naphthalene and BioPerformance chemical profiles shown by the University of Central Florida, I will acknowledge that my chemistry is not so fresh as to be able to understand everything that these data are showing, nor what other elements might be present in BioPerformance, or what stoichiometric (shape orientation) differences there might be, and what those would entail in terms of performance and safety. However, I will say that the profiles are close enough that a complete denial of any correlation by the company sends up a red flag for me. At the same time, I do realize that the company is being run not by scientists but by marketers, so such gaffes are somewhat understandable. However, they should have at least one scientist in their ranks, and either he is lying to them or they are ignoring him.
Update, following manufacturer statement release
I made the above comment before seeing the statement issued from the manufacturer (subsequently posted above). As I suspected, even though BP does not contain naphthalene, it does contain a close analogue: naphthenate. So from a chemistry point of view there is a reason why the University of Central Florida saw a close match between BioPerformance and naphthalene. Rather than shrug off the reporters and avoid them as Lowell Mims did, he should have engaged them, and responded by saying, "We'll ask our scientists and get back to you." The way he responded only gave the reporter a reason to be suspicious.
I do not think BioPerformance should pursue a lawsuit, because this was not a case of malicious slander. The error on the part of the news organization and the chemists was grounded. A better approach would be to provide them with the manufacturer's explanation, and get a follow-up story aired, and have follow-up testing done on other vehicles. Not all vehicles respond enthusiastically to BP in the fuel. My two cars have not.
BioPerformance would have more credibility if they published ALL of the results that have been reported to them, and not just the positive ones. Then people would have a more scientific understanding of their chances for BP working in their car. Eventually, BP should publish a make-model-year database along with any recommendations or tips. For example one make and model might have a siphon trap that prevents pills from reaching the fuel. Another make and model might require some intervention in the O2 sensor before the product will result in improved mileage. Presently there is no such guidance, but a general sense of gambling. "Try it, it might work." What are the odds of success?
-- SilverThunder 15:34, 10 May 2006 (EDT)
May 21 Update
The follow-up by the University of Central Florida shows no Naphthenate signature in BioPerformance. They are lying. I'm withdrawing from any association with BioPerformance. -- SilverThunder 13:35, 21 May 2006 (EDT)