8 June 2011

NEXBASE Group III – base oils for cutting CO2

Written by Fred Nissfolk
Published in Oil products

Some of you are probably fed-up with never ending discussions about CO2; others are still interested in finding proofs for the claimed effects of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Whatever the effects are and how powerful they might be, we can all agree that we are consuming too much energy for the support of our daily activities. The only really sustainable way is to radically cut our energy consumption by skipping things that are not absolutely necessary – a solution that most of us do not even want to think about. One of the basic human properties is laze, which is simultaneously a huge driving force for development. I am not primarily thinking about development of comfortable sofas and beds, but rather development of tools, equipment and products that can make our life more comfortable and our work more efficient.

Saving of fuel has repeatedly been triggered by fuel price increases, which certainly feel painful for a while until life is back to normal and the new price level again feels acceptable. Some people might retain the saving mode a little bit longer than others, but gradually the laze starts to win territory again. As long as the hardware remains unchanged it is only the human software that determines the outcome of the fuel saving.

In the past years we have however seen many interesting fuel conserving technologies entering the automotive market. The automotive industry has made significant hardware changes in order to decrease fuel consumption and to cut CO2-emissions. The ultimate driver for the European automotive industry to cut fuel consumption is not only their kind concern about our money and our CO2-emissions. Also worth mentioning is that the car industry will need to pay significant fines for “excess” CO2-emissions within a few years time.

The rather good perception of smaller and more fuel-efficient cars and development of new engine technology are certainly steps in a good direction; approximately the same comfort with less energy consumption …and we can again continue as usual for a while.

Many of the above mentioned technology developments are quite challenging. Quite frequently more power needs to be generated by smaller engines. The increased power-density is also transformed into a higher stress of the engine oil, which need to serve and to protect the various parts of the engine. A reduced oil volume needs to do its job at higher temperature. Furthermore modern oils do also need to attribute to a better fuel economy and to not impose detrimental effects on the emission cleaning equipments located in the tail-pipe. All together a more stressful situation … just as in a normal work-space. European engine oils can nowadays not count upon an early retirement; in most cases it needs to be able to operate for 30 000 km.

Our team has for more than a decade made close co-operation with especially the engine oil additive industry in order to develop engine oils suitable also for modern engines. New and more demanding oil requirements are on quite regular basis released by the industry and we are continuously looking for feasible solutions to meet the required performance criteria. Over the years we have supplied the market with NEXBASE® Group III based engine-oil formulations by the dozen, both for passenger cars and for heavy duty trucks. Most of these oils have fuel- and CO2-reducing effects.

All these efforts are not meant to give a choice instead of the aforementioned fact about actually skipping some non-vital things to cut energy consumption and support the laze of people but to be used in addition to it.

Fred Nissfolk
Fellow, Base Oils