Major US Fuel Marketer Protects its Brand Promise and Revenue Stream

LPG Fuel Marking Program – Case Study

LPG Fuel Marking Program

  • Demonstrated LPG can be successfully marked
  • Implemented robust QC measures at the terminal
  • Confident confirmation the marker is filling the supply chain
  • Complete visibility when unmarked LPG enters the retail outlet supply chain
  • Performed testing at all retail outlets

The Challenge

A fuel retailer was experiencing a substantial erosion of product quality due to dilution of its automotive liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). LPG that did not originate from the fuel retailer’s depots was being sold through its network of retail stations. The illicit activity negatively affected the retailer’s brand promise of high quality LPG as consumers were not able to depend on the integrity of the fuel. Compromised fuel integrity can lead to premature automotive engine wear and tear, costly repairs to capital equipment, erosion of consumer trust and, ultimately, loss of revenue.

The Need

The retailer needed an effective enforcement program that would protect its product while preventing erosion of its trusted brand to maintain sales of high quality LPG.

The Solution

Authentix is the sole global provider of quantitative LPG marking technology. To deter illicit dilution and protect its brand image, a team of Authentix marker experts worked with the fuel retailer using its best in class program design expertise and experience in managing effective fuel marking programs. The Authentix end-to-end solution uses chemical markers built to withstand adulteration and illicit filtering methods as well as in-house services and support (advisory, design, implementation and operational) to customize security solutions for its customers.

MARKERS AND DEVICES

The fuel retailer added a proprietary Authentix covert marker to its automotive LPG. The marker creates a unique fingerprint to identify legitimate fuel at retail sites and is only visible with a highly sensitive field detection device. Quantitative measurements of the marked LPG were taken to identify dilution using an Authentix LPX 1000 device reader. The device uses a monochromator principle to detect the presence of the optical marker in the fuel. LPX 1000 (Fig.1) was specifically designed and configured for dilution testing with LPG. Features of the hand-held device include:

  • Ease of use in the field and easily transported
  • Intrinsically safe and simple to use
  • Easily connects to LPG source using standard connectors
  • < 5ml of LPG sample required to determine marker concentration
  • Delivers unambiguous results in seconds
SERVICES AND SUPPORT

In the advisory phase, vulnerabilities in the retailer’s supply chain were identified. Using this information, Authentix provided design services using the covert markers and analyzers to customize the program to the retailer’s needs. The technical solution developed by Authentix was launched as a pilot phase at one retail location in 2017.