November 23, 2020

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Raj Padmanabhan – Heavy Duty Engine Lubrication and Challenges with China VI and India BS VI implementation


New emission regulations complying with China VI and India BS VI requirements are targeted to be implemented in 2020. China VI emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles is expected to be equivalent to or in some aspects more stringent than Euro VI and new vehicles are targeting to have Diesel particulate filters (DPF). Adoption of BS VI in India will bring Indian motor vehicles regulations in line with Euro VI for light passenger cars and diesel vehicles. Fuel economy norms have been specified for heavy duty vehicles in India since 2018 and these are expected to be more stringent by the next revision in 2021. Implementation of China VI and BS VI will result in substantial emission reduction in the medium to long term.

To meet China VI and BS VI needs, OEMs are developing new engine designs which require advanced additive and lubricating oil technologies, balanced between durability with longer oil drains and capability to meet the needs of after treatment devices such as DPF. Oil consumption and sump sizes for targeted HP of the engines are additional factors to take into account with varying fuel quality and sulfur levels across the country. Proof of performance in real-world field conditions in China and India is required to be demonstrated to achieve confidence that the chosen technologies will work. API CK-4 and ACEA specs are the latest categories that have been adopted in the U.S. and Europe respectively to meet Low SAPS needs. Both China and India are expected to follow similar performance category changes, adopting to local conditions and designs. The finished oil formulations will also require higher quality base oils from Group 2 to partial or even full Group 3 for various viscosity grades.

In this paper, we will share the work done so far to meet China VI and BS VI needs–comparison of engine/fleet service data, development of additive and lubricating oil technologies/formulations, field performance data from China/India and the challenges/next steps.

  • Position: Asia Pacific Regional Product Line Manager for Automotive Engine Oils and Viscosity Index Improvers, based in Singapore
  • Educational: Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with Master’s degree in Business Management
  • Experience: 33 years in oil and additives industry– of which 27 years are with Chevron Oronite, mainly in various product and technical functions, covering automotive, industrial and specialties engine oils. Published technical papers in motorcycle, gas engine oils and specialties.