The History & Evolution of K100 Fuel Treatment Products

K100 fuel treatments were invented in the early 1960’s by Alice Otto and her husband Richard. They ran a small chemical company in Buffalo, NY called Reaction Laboratories that provided boiler water treatment products to a wide variety of boiler operators in western NY.

Many of their clients used very heavy bunker fuels in their boilers, and they all had the same complaint: their fuel tanks were filling up with heavy sludge and water, and they were losing precious fuel storage capacity. No existing chemical fuel treatment could dissolve the sludge and remove the water, and the task of clearing out the tanks manually was a slow, difficult and expensive process. Alice and Richard decided to develop a chemical formulation that could solve this problem. In 1965, right after Richard died of a heart attack, Alice introduced a product she called Krystal 101. Krystal 101 had several unique properties: first, it was formulated to chemically combine with water, creating a combustible compound, and to put that combustible compound into full and permanent solution in the fuel. It also contained a powerful solvent that could dissolve the sludge, and reincorporate it into the useful fuel. Finally, it had a strong stabilizer to keep the different fuel components fully integrated for up to two years at a time.

Krystal 101 became very popular and was used by hospitals, schools, factories, Great Lakes freighters and tankers; in short, heavy fuel users of all types discovered how well it worked and relied on it to keep their fuel storage systems functioning at full capacity. In the coming years, however, heavy bunker fuels were slowly phased out by new environmental regulations, and Alice Otto began reformulating Krystal 101 to work in diesel fuel and lighter #2 heating oil, and renamed it K100D. She also decided to concentrate on fuel treatments alone, and renamed her repurposed company Kinetic Laboratories. In the late 1970’s, after the first of the OPEC oil embargoes, she expanded her product line by introducing K100G, for use with gasoline. Her testing indicated K100G provided significant improvements in mileage and emissions, probably due to the cleaning and stabilizing effect of the fuel treatment on the cars and fuels of that era.

In the late 1980’s Alice began offering K100MD and K100MG, treatment formulations that had added emphasis on the stabilizing properties of K100, for customers that had problems with longer term fuel storage. Since that time, the only significant changes required to keep the formulae up to date have been slight modifications to keep K100’s specific gravity and vapor pressure in line with modern fuel formulations.

When ethanol blended gasoline was introduced to the market in the last decade, all sorts of problems developed, and the root cause of all of them was water. K100’s unique ability to target water within a fuel system, first developed back in the 1960’s, made it the ideal remedy for this newly emerging difficulty. Alice’s K100 formulation, designed for water management, fuel stability, and control of gums and varnishes, made it the most versatile and effective fuel treatment on the market back then, and remarkably, it still is today.