The dramatic changes in the base oil technology landscape, driven by the rapid growth in capacity for Group II and Group III base oils, is fueled by increasing demands on automotive engine oil performance.
The total production of Group I is estimated to fall to about 40% of the total base oil production by the year 2020. Some of the reasons other than fuel economy pushing this process forward are health and safety, high maintenance cost and the need for heavy investments since most of the available group I refineries are quite old.
Nevertheless, a consequence of these changes is that the offering of the base oil industry is no longer optimized for the industrial lubricant industry requirements. The deficits in solvency and viscosity might not be readily substituted by the highly refined paraffinic Group II and Group III base oils.
Higher polarity, aromaticity and sufficient solvency power constitute, beside viscosities, the most essential parameters for process oils, metal working fluids and hydraulic oils.
Within the frame of this work, a new range of base stocks, very similar to Group I, have been created by carefully blending naphthenic and paraffinic base oils. This new range of base oil is closely matching a broad selection of Group I base oils, from Solvent Neutral 70 to Solvent Neutral 600.
Furthermore, in order to verify some of the characteristics of these new base oils a comparative study has been conducted where, response of pour point depressant, the elastomer compatibility and formulation of an industrial hydraulic fluid and a mobile hydraulics fluid with higher VI, has been investigated. The outcome emphasizes that this new range of base oils may replace conventional Group I in various industrial applications, in many cases without needing any significant reformulation efforts.