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Encyclopedia > Synthetic lubricants

Synthetic oil is oil consisting of chemical compounds which were not originally present in crude oil (petroleum) but were artificially made (synthesized) from other compounds. Synthetic oil could be made to be a substitute for petroleum or specially made to be a substitute for a lubricant oil such as conventional (or mineral) motor oil refined from petroleum. When a synthetic oil is made as a substitute for petroleum, it is generally produced because of a shortage of petroleum or because petreoleum is too expensive. When synthetic oil is made as a substitute for lubricant refined from petroleum, it is generally because of superior properties of the synthetic oil. Synthetic motor oil is often synthesized from reactants (feedstocks) derived from petroleum, but the compounds in the synthetic motor oil have different molecular structures from those originally in petroleum. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x1114, 116 KB) Summary Mobil 1 Synthetic motor oil. ... A chemical compound is a chemical substance formed from two or more elements, with a fixed ratio determining the composition. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Petroleum (from Greek petra – rock and elaion – oil or Latin oleum – oil ) or crude oil is a thick, dark brown or greenish liquid. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Petroleum (from Greek petra – rock and elaion – oil or Latin oleum – oil ) or crude oil is a thick, dark brown or greenish liquid. ... Synthesis (from the Greek words syn = plus and thesis = position) is commonly understood to be an integration of two or more pre-existing elements which results in a new creation. ... Lubricants are an essential part of modern machinery. ... Natural olive oil Synthetic motor oil Oil, in a general sense, is a chemical compound that is not miscible with water, and is in a liquid state at ambient temperatures. ... Motor oil is a type of liquid oil used for lubrication by various kinds of motors, especially internal combustion engines. ... A reactant or reagent is any substance initially present in a chemical reaction. ... Geometry of the water molecule Molecules have fixed equilibrium geometries--bond lengths and angles--that are dictated by the laws of quantum mechanics. ...

Contents


Synthetic oil as a substitute for crude oil (petroleum)

A synthetic oil is an oil manufactured for enhanced lubrication performance using the Fischer-Tropsch process which converts carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane into liquid hydrocarbons of various forms. The carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide is generated by partial oxidation of coal and wood-based fuels. This process was developed and used extensively in World War II by Germany, which had limited access to crude oil supplies. Germany's yearly synthetic oil production reached more than 90 million tons in 1944. It is today used in South Africa to produce most of that country's diesel from coal. There are several companies developing the process to enable practical exploitation of so-called stranded gas reserves, those reserves which are impractical to exploit with conventional gas pipelines and LNG technology. Lubrication occurs when opposing surfaces are completely separated by a lubricant film. ... // The Fischer-Tropsch process is a catalyzed chemical reaction in which carbon monoxide and hydrogen are converted into liquid hydrocarbons of various forms. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, France/Free France, United States, China, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Greece, Norway, Honduras, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Burma, Slovakia Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... A stranded gas reserve is a natural gas field that has been discovered, but remains unusable for either physicial or economic reasons. ... Liquefied natural gas or LNG is natural gas that has been cooled until it becomes liquid, and it is stored in tanks. ...


Synthetic oil as a substitute for motor oil

The majority of oil lubricants are mineral oils, mixtures of refined fractions of crude oil. Mineral oil or liquid petrolatum is a by-product in the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Petroleum (from Greek petra – rock and elaion – oil or Latin oleum – oil ) or crude oil is a thick, dark brown or greenish liquid. ...


Most synthetic motor oils are fabricated by polymerizing short chain hydrocarbon molecules called alpha-olefins into longer chain highly-branched hydrocarbon polymers called polyalpha-olefins (PAOs for short). Their lubrication characteristics can be adjusted by controlling the spectrum of molecular weights that go into the finished formulation, which usually also includes thickeners. Motor oil is a type of liquid oil used for lubrication by various kinds of motors, especially internal combustion engines. ... Polymerization is a process of reacting monomer molecules together in a chemical reaction to form three-dimensional networks or polymer chains [1]. There are many forms of polymerization and different systems exist to categorize them. ... Hydrocarbons are refined at oil refineries and processed at chemical plants In chemistry, a hydrocarbon is any chemical compound that consists only of the elements carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). ... Alpha-olefins are a family of compounds with a chemical formula CxH2x, distinguished by having a double bond at the primary or alpha position. ... Polymer is a term used to describe a very long molecule consisting of structural units and repeating units connected by covalent chemical bonds. ... A polyolefin is a polymer produced from a simple olefin, or alkene as a monomer. ...


Although in use in the aerospace industry for some years prior, synthetic oil first became commercially available for automobile engines in the early-1970s.The French Oil company MOTUL first introduced commercial sythetic-oil in 1971. The first company to develop an API-rated 100% synthetic motor oil available in the United States was Amsoil Inc. [1] Mobil 1 was introduced in 1974 as the first API certified synthetic engine oil. In 1992, Porsche became the first automobile manufacturer to factory-fill all their new car engines with synthetic oil. API may refer to: In computing, application programming interface In petroleum industry, American Petroleum Institute In education, Academic Performance Index This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Amsoil, Inc. ... Mobil is a major oil company which merged with the Exxon Corporation in 1999 to form ExxonMobil. ... The American Petroleum Institute, commonly referred to as API, is the main U.S. trade association for the oil and natural gas industry, representing more than 400 members involved in all aspects of the industry. ... Dr. Ing. ...


Advantages

The industry recognizes the following benefits for synthetic motor oils:

  • Improved viscosity at low temperatures. Mineral oils tend to include wax impurities which coagulate at lower temperatures. A typical 10W-30 oil remains liquid at -50 °C (-58 °F)
  • Better high temperature performance. Synthetic oils have few low molecular weight hydrocarbons which evaporate at high temperatures.
  • Higher purity
  • Decreased oil consumption
  • Reduced friction and engine wear
  • Improved fuel consumption through better engine lubrication
  • Resistance to oil sludge problems
  • Crude oil doesn't have to be used for the production of the lubricants
  • Some synthetic motor oil producers offer extended intervals between oil changes (extended drain intervals)
  • Reduction of environmental impact (due to lower oil consumption)

A degree Celsius (°C) is a unit of temperature named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701-1744), who first proposed a similar system in 1742. ... Fahrenheit is a temperature scale named after the German physicist Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736), who proposed it in 1724. ... Numerous late-model piston engines from many manufacturers have suffered from failures due to oil sludge contamination. ...

Disadvantages

The primary disadvantage of synthetic oils is that they cost significantly more than mineral oils. Some manufacturers of synthetic oils, such as Amsoil and Mobil1, however offer extended drain intervals which allows for running the oil by over 7 times the length of conventional petroleum oils. This extended drain interval actually causes synthetics to be more cost effective over the course of 2 to 3 oil changes. However, with the recent rise in the price of petroleum the gap between the cost of a typical quart of petroleum motor oil and the typical quart of synthetic is almost negligible. Amsoil, Inc. ... A quart is a unit of measurement for volume. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Petroleum (from Greek petra – rock and elaion – oil or Latin oleum – oil ) or crude oil is a thick, dark brown or greenish liquid. ...


Synthetic oils can cause problems with older seals which are prone to leakage. As long as the vehicle or equipment in question is in sound mechanical condition then using synthetic oils should not be an issue. Compression seal example A mechanical seal is a device which helps join systems or mechanisms together by preventing leakage (eg. ...


Semi-synthetic oil

A semi-synthetic oil is a blend of mineral oil with no more than 30% synthetic oil. They are designed to provide many of the benefits of synthetic oil without matching the cost of pure synthetic oil. Again MOTUL introduces first semi-synthetic motor oil in 1966.


See also

The hypothesis of abiogenic petroleum origin holds that petroleum was formed by primordial non-biological processes deep in the earths crust and mantle. ... // The Fischer-Tropsch process is a catalyzed chemical reaction in which carbon monoxide and hydrogen are converted into liquid hydrocarbons of various forms. ... Renewable energy (sources) or RES capture their energy from existing flows of energy, from on-going natural processes, such as sunshine, wind, flowing water (hydropower), biological processes such as anaerobic digestion, and geothermal heat flow. ... Synthetic fuel or synfuel is any liquid fuel obtained from coal or from natural gas. ...

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