Infineum update: New requirements bring challenges for gas engine oils

Judith Taylor


HOUSTON (ICIS)–More powerful, highly efficient engines are being developed by manufacturers in order to meet the requirements of industrial sector, according to Infineum. These requirements are in turn bringing complex challenges to the gas engine oils (GEOs) that form the lubricants serving the industrial complex, the additive company said.

GEOs are used in key industrial sectors in the stationary gas engine applications such as gas plant, pipeline and power generation operations.

In OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries such as the US, UK and others, gas engines drive the giant systems that keep electric power online, wind turbines running and pipelines operating.

Regions such as Asia, Latin America and others may use gas engines for vehicles because of domestic conditions including urban air quality.

While interest is growing on the use of natural gas in passenger vehicles, the main use for gas engines and GEOs is the stationary market where huge operating systems are involved and bring intense stress to the lubricant oils within these compressed conditions.

The combustion temperatures and pressures are higher and there are piston design changes in the newer equipment that bring certain key operating components closer to the combustion zone. Consequently the lubricant operating in that zone must handle these higher temperatures, which can lead to concerns about deposit formation and subsequent engine damage.

Conventional natural gas engine oils (NGEOs) have met the lubricating needs of gas engines for many years but are today less effective at controlling troublesome deposits over the longer drain intervals of the newer engine designs.

Since the lubricant life is shorter with the NGEOs, this can lead to more servicing and downtime, equating to higher costs and less productivity for the operator.

Infineum’s August update on GEOs said that a next generation of lubricant oils will be necessary to deliver advanced lubricating protection over longer drain intervals.

Lubricants of all kinds are the key end-use applications for all base oils, with all base oil API (American Petroleum Institute) tiers such as Group I, II, III and IV involved.

Additive companies such as Infineum and others bring together packages of chemical additives to the base oil to produce the finished lubricants that serve the motor oil, lubricants and grease markets.

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