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The global race towards the rationalisation of paraffinic Group I refineries will inevitably affect most of the formulations within the industrial lube segment. In 2015, almost 25 percent of the paraffinic Group I capacity disappeared in Europe, and now the restructuring has reached the Middle East and AsiaPacific regions,” says Nynas’ grease specialist Mehdi Fathi-Najafi.
This fundamental change within the oil refining industry has created a vacuum in the lube and grease market for a similar grade that can be used as a ‘drop in’ substitute with minimum adjustment. Nynas’ solution to the challenge was to develop a series of blends of paraffinic Group II and hydrotreated naphthenic oils - the NYBASE™ grade.
“In fact, NYBASE™ could be called ‘paraffinic Group I +’ as the oils display better low temperature characteristics and significantly lower sulfur content than paraffinic Group I,” explains Mehdi Fathi-Najafi.
Comparative studies were conducted in order to evaluate the potential of the new range of base oils as a replacement for Group I oil in lithium grease formulations, which represent more than 55 percent of the global production.
“Our studies show that the new range enables finished products of improved performance, whilst also rationalising the number of base oils in formulations. Hence, producers will be able to use just one oil product, from one single tank, for their production. This will simplify the logistics chain, reduce the risk of contamination, and enable producers to rationalise their operations and subsequently reduce capital employment at their sites,” he states.
Senior Technical Advisor and Group specialist at Techni- cal Development and Market Support, Nynas Naphthenics, joined Nynas in 2008, and has been the driving force behind the company’s experimental grease lab.
“Drop in” with added benefit
The NYBASE™ range will help producers of lubes and greases requiring the viscosity, solvency power and polarity typically displayed by Group I oil, as the base oil production continues to shift towards Groups II and III. A comparison between grease samples made with two of the new high viscosity base oils and a traditional oil grade showed that the new oils are well suited to replace paraffinic Group I. In fact, NYBASE™ oils can improve their performance. For example, a significant improvement in low temperature mobility was observed as an added benefit, as shown in this flow pressure graph, promising the opportunity to make grease products that flow smoothly at temperatures down to -35°C.
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