Synthetic oil
Overview
 
Synthetic oil is a lubricant
Lubricant
A lubricant is a substance introduced to reduce friction between moving surfaces. It may also have the function of transporting foreign particles and of distributing heat...

 consisting of chemical compound
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

s that are artificially made (synthesized
Chemical synthesis
In chemistry, chemical synthesis is purposeful execution of chemical reactions to get a product, or several products. This happens by physical and chemical manipulations usually involving one or more reactions...

). Synthetic lubricants can be manufactured using chemically modified petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 components rather than whole crude oil, but can also be synthesized from other raw materials. Synthetic oil is used as a substitute for lubricant refined from petroleum when operating in extremes of temperature, because, in general, it provides superior mechanical and chemical properties than those found in traditional mineral oil
Mineral oil
A mineral oil is any of various colorless, odorless, light mixtures of alkanes in the C15 to C40 range from a non-vegetable source, particularly a distillate of petroleum....

s.
Encyclopedia
Synthetic oil is a lubricant
Lubricant
A lubricant is a substance introduced to reduce friction between moving surfaces. It may also have the function of transporting foreign particles and of distributing heat...

 consisting of chemical compound
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

s that are artificially made (synthesized
Chemical synthesis
In chemistry, chemical synthesis is purposeful execution of chemical reactions to get a product, or several products. This happens by physical and chemical manipulations usually involving one or more reactions...

). Synthetic lubricants can be manufactured using chemically modified petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 components rather than whole crude oil, but can also be synthesized from other raw materials. Synthetic oil is used as a substitute for lubricant refined from petroleum when operating in extremes of temperature, because, in general, it provides superior mechanical and chemical properties than those found in traditional mineral oil
Mineral oil
A mineral oil is any of various colorless, odorless, light mixtures of alkanes in the C15 to C40 range from a non-vegetable source, particularly a distillate of petroleum....

s. Aircraft jet engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

s, for example, require the use of synthetic oils, whereas aircraft piston engines do not.

History

Dr. Hermann Zorn of I.G. Farben Industries in Germany began
to search for lubricants with the properties of natural oils but without the tendencies to gel or gum when used in an engine environment. His work led to the preparation of over 3500 esters in the late 1930s and early 1940s including diesters, polyolester
Polyolester
Polyolester oil, commonly called POE oil, is a type of Synthetic oil used in refrigeration compressors that is compatible with the refrigerants R-134a, R410A and R-12.-Use:...

s, and banana oil. During the same time period in the United States, Dr. William Albert Zismann
William Zisman
Dr. William Albert Zisman was an American chemist and geophysicist.He was born in Albany, NY and spent his youth in Providence, RI up to the age of 14 when his family moved to Washington, DC. He earned his BS and MS degrees in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began his career...

 working at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) was also synthesizing esters, especially diesters.
The first real synthetic engine oils appeared for aircraft engines in World War II concurrently in Germany and in the United States. The motivation in Germany may be related primarily to resource issues, but also to functional performance requirements. The base oils for aircraft engines in Germany were based on a blend of an adipic acid ester with a poly(ethylene) oil, e.g., polymerized olefins/ethylene. Because synthetic oils made engine starting in winter easier and significantly decreased soot deposits in oil radiators, the United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 adopted polyglycols (polypropylene glycol monobutylethers) beginning in March 1944.

Synthetic engine oil

In the early 1960s, Chevron
Chevron Corporation
Chevron Corporation is an American multinational energy corporation headquartered in San Ramon, California, United States and active in more than 180 countries. It is engaged in every aspect of the oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries, including exploration and production; refining,...

 U.S.A integrated the first commercial utilization of hydrocracking technology at its Richmond California refinery. By 1993 the company introduced lubricant
Lubricant
A lubricant is a substance introduced to reduce friction between moving surfaces. It may also have the function of transporting foreign particles and of distributing heat...

 Isodewaxing technology making Chevron one of the world's largest manufacturers of API (category II and III) base oils. Today, API (category III) base oils are marketed to the general public as fully synthetic motor oil. On July 1, 2000, Chevron Corp. combined efforts with Phillips Petroleum Co., now ConocoPhillips
ConocoPhillips
ConocoPhillips Company is an American multinational energy corporation with its headquarters located in the Energy Corridor district of Houston, Texas in the United States...

, to become Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, LLC. The Chevron Phillips venture is one of the top producers of polyalphaolefin (PAO) Group IV base stocks, some of which are used for automotive synthetic motor oils.

Although used in the aviation and aerospace industries beginning in the early 1950s, the first synthetic oil developed for automotive combustion engines and fully recognized by the American Petroleum Institute
American Petroleum Institute
The American Petroleum Institute, commonly referred to as API, is the largest U.S trade association for the oil and natural gas industry...

 (API) was produced by the Hatco Corp. (AMSOIL) in 1972.

Other early synthetic motor oils marketed included "The Original Syn!" by SynLube in 1969, NEO Oil Company (formally EON) in 1970; they were dibasic acide esters, or diesters, and polyol ester-based synthetic lubricants. In 1971 All-Proof and Mobil 1
Mobil 1
Mobil 1 is a brand name developed by the Mobil oil company and now marketed by ExxonMobil.It was introduced in 1974 as a 5w single viscosity fully synthetic motor oil advertised for use up to 25,000 miles. Later, the miles-specific recommendation was dropped and the product reformulated in other...

, introduced to North America in 1974 a 5W-20 grade (category IV) PAO base oil.

Synthetic Base Stocks

Synthetic motor oils are man made oils from the following classes of lubricants:
  • Polyalphaolefin (PAO) = American Petroleum Institute
    American Petroleum Institute
    The American Petroleum Institute, commonly referred to as API, is the largest U.S trade association for the oil and natural gas industry...

     (API) Group IV base oil
  • Synthetic esters, etc. = API Group V base oils (non-PAO synthetics, including diesters, polyolester
    Polyolester
    Polyolester oil, commonly called POE oil, is a type of Synthetic oil used in refrigeration compressors that is compatible with the refrigerants R-134a, R410A and R-12.-Use:...

    s, alklylated napthlenes, alkyklated benzenes, etc.)
  • Hydrocracked/Hydroisomerized = API Group III base oils. Chevron, Shell, and other petrochemical companies developed processes involving catalytic conversion of feed stocks under pressure in the presence of hydrogen into high-quality mineral lubricating oil. In 2005, production of GTL (gas-to-liquid) Group III base stocks began, the best of which perform much like polyalphaolefin. Group III-base stocks are widely permitted to be marketed as synthetic motor oil with few exceptions where they are not allowed to be marketed as "synthetic" (for example, Germany).

Semi-synthetic oil

Semi-synthetic oils (also called 'synthetic blends') are blends of mineral oil with no more than 30% synthetic oil. Designed to have many of the benefits of synthetic oil without matching the cost of pure synthetic oil. Motul
Motul (company)
Motul is a French company, now worldwide, which creates, develops and distributes lubricants for engines and for the industry.-History:...

 introduced the first semi-synthetic motor oil in 1966.

Lubricants that have synthetic base stocks even lower 30%, high-performance additive packs consisting of esters can also be considered synthetic lubricants. In general, ratio of the synthetic base stock is used to define commodity codes among the customs declarations of tax purposes.

Other base stocks help semi-synthetic lubricants

Group II- and Group III-type base stocks help to formulate more economic-type semi-synthetic lubricants. Group I-, II-, II+-, and III-type mineral-base oil stocks are widely used in combination with additive packages, performance packages, and ester and/or Group IV polyalphaolefins in order to formulate semi-synthetic-based lubricants. Group III base oils are sometimes considered synthetic, but they are still classified as highest-top-level mineral-base stocks. A Synthetic or Synthesized material is one that is produced by combining or building individual units into a unified entry. Synthetic base stocks as described above are man-made and tailored to have a controlled molecular structure with predictable properties, unlike mineral base oils, which are complex mixtures of naturally occurring hydrocarbons.

Advantages

The technical advantages of synthetic motor oils include:
  • Measurably better low- and high-temperature viscosity performance at service temperature extremes
  • Better chemical & shear stability
  • Decreased evaporative loss
  • Resistance to oxidation, thermal breakdown, and oil sludge
    Oil sludge
    Oil sludge or black sludge is a solid or gel in motor oil caused by the oil gelling or solidifying, usually at temperatures lower than 100 degrees Celsius....

     problems
  • Extended drain intervals with the environmental benefit of less oil waste.
  • Improved fuel economy in certain engine configurations.
  • Better lubrication during extreme cold weather starts
  • Longer engine life
  • Superior protection against "ash" and other deposit formation in engine hot spots (in particular in turbochargers and superchargers) for less oil burnoff and reduced chances of damaging oil passageway clogging.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of synthetic motor oils include:
  • The lower friction may make them unsuitable for break-in (i.e., the initial run-in period of the vehicle), where friction is desirable to cause wear. However, improved engine-part machining has made break-in less critical than it once was. A select few cars (in general turbo- or supercharged) are factory filled with synthetic oil, usually to help minimize high-temperature oil degradation issues.
  • Potential decomposition problems in certain chemical environments (predominantly in industrial use.)
  • Potential stress cracking of plastic components made of polyoxymethylene
    Polyoxymethylene
    Polyoxymethylene , also known as acetal, polyacetal, and polyformaldehyde, is an engineering thermoplastic used in precision parts that require high stiffness, low friction and excellent dimensional stability....

     (POM) in the presence of polyalphaolefin (PAO).
  • Synthetics do not hold lead in suspension as well as mineral oil, thus caution is advised when the engine is run on leaded fuel, which is still commonly used in aviation (avgas
    Avgas
    Avgas is an aviation fuel used to power piston-engine aircraft. Avgas is distinguished from mogas , which is the everyday gasoline used in cars and some non-commercial light aircraft...

    ).
  • In July 1996, Consumer Reports
    Consumer Reports
    Consumer Reports is an American magazine published monthly by Consumers Union since 1936. It publishes reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on reporting and results from its in-house testing laboratory. It also publishes cleaning and general buying guides...

    published the results of a two-year motor oil test involving a fleet of 75 New York taxi cabs and found no noticeable advantage of synthetic oil over regular mineral oil. In their article, they noted that "Big-city cabs don't see many cold start-ups or long periods of high-speed driving in extreme heat. But our test results relate to the most common type of severe service - stop-and-go city driving." According to their study, synthetic oil is "worth considering for extreme driving conditions: high ambient temperatures and high engine load, or very cold temperatures."
  • Synthetic oils are not recommended in automotive rotary engines
    Wankel engine
    The Wankel engine is a type of internal combustion engine using an eccentric rotary design to convert pressure into a rotating motion instead of using reciprocating pistons. Its four-stroke cycle takes place in a space between the inside of an oval-like epitrochoid-shaped housing and a rotor that...

    .

See also

  • 3,000 mile myth
    3,000 mile myth
    The 3,000 mile myth refers to a common belief that all cars should have their motor oil changed at least every to maintain their car engine correctly...

  • Amsoil
    Amsoil
    AMSOIL Inc. is a corporation based in Superior, Wisconsin that primarily formulates and packages synthetic lubricants and filters. The company's advertising slogan is The First in Synthetics.-History:...

  • Castrol
    Castrol
    Castrol is a brand of industrial and automotive lubricants which is applied to a large range of oils, greases and similar products for most lubrication applications...

  • Fischer–Tropsch process
  • Mobil 1
    Mobil 1
    Mobil 1 is a brand name developed by the Mobil oil company and now marketed by ExxonMobil.It was introduced in 1974 as a 5w single viscosity fully synthetic motor oil advertised for use up to 25,000 miles. Later, the miles-specific recommendation was dropped and the product reformulated in other...

  • Red Line Oil
  • Synthetic fuel
    Synthetic fuel
    Synthetic fuel or synfuel is a liquid fuel obtained from coal, natural gas, oil shale, or biomass. It may also refer to fuels derived from other solids such as plastics or rubber waste. It may also refer to gaseous fuels produced in a similar way...

  • Schaeffer Oil
    Schaeffer Oil
    Schaeffer Oil is a privately held, U.S. company, which operates under the name Schaeffer Manufacturing Company. Schaeffer manufactures specialty lubrication products, including performance additives, friction modifiers, and synthetic oils, greases and compounds...



Silver State

Notes

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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