Powered by Blogger.
Friday, 24 April 2015

How different synthetic oils are made.

Ever wondered how different types of synthetic oils are made?

In the 1930s, Dr. Hermann Zorn of Germany found out how synthetic oils are made while searching for a lubricant with the properties of natural oils derived from crude oil but without the undesirable properties (high pour points, tendency to gum or gel in combustion engines, low oxidation resistance at higher temperatures, etc.).

Germany was also in need of a product that was not derived from crude oil, as the nation’s access to crude oil
was becoming increasingly scarce. By the mid-1940s Dr. Zorn had formulated more than 3,500 different blends of esters, including diesters and polyolesters.

The basics of how synthetic oils are made.

Synthetic oils are made using chemical compounds that are artificially synthesized, and can be manufactured using chemically modified petroleum components rather than whole crude oil, but can also be synthesized from other raw materials. Synthetic lubricants are 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 to those found in traditional mineral oils.

Synthetic oils are made using a synthetic base stock, and tailored to have a controlled molecular structure with predictable properties. They are composed of organic and inorganic base stock oils combined with polymer packages to produce synthesised oil compounds (API Groups III, IV & V).

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 and paraffins.

PAO synthetic oils are made using Polyalphaolefins.

API Group IV Polyalphaolefins are 100% Synthetic chemical compounds are specific types of olefins (organic) used as base stocks in some synthetic lubricants. These synthetic oils are made using Polyalphaolefin (or poly-α-olefin, abbreviated as PAO), a polymer made by polymerizing alpha-olefin (or α-olefin) which are alkenes where the carbon-carbon double bond starts at the α-carbon atom.

Ester synthetic oils are made by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound.

API Group V Esters synthetic oils are made by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH (hydroxyl) group is replaced by an -O-alkyl (alkoxy) group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and alcohols. That is, esters are formed by condensing an acid with an alcohol.

Many chemically different "esters" due to their usually excellent lubricity are used for various reasons as either "additives" or "base oils" for lubricants.

Semi synthetic oils are made with blends of mineral oil and contain no more than 30% 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 but at a lower cost to that of pure synthetic oil. 

Lubricants that have synthetic base stocks even lower than 30% but with 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.

API Group II- and API Group III-type base stocks synthetic oils are made to formulate more economic-type semi-synthetic lubricants. API 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 API Group IV poly-alpha-olefins in order to formulate semi-synthetic-based lubricants.

API Group III base oils are sometimes considered Fully synthetic, but they are still classified as highest-top-level mineral-base stocks.

With an understanding of how synthetic oils are made it’s still important to call on specialists to purchase high quality synthetic lubricants. Companies such as Habot Oil should be consulted before making a decision.