Naphthenics offer better solutions

Calling for more pioneering spirit in lubricant blending labs, industry veteran and trouble shooter Peter Dijke believes in old-fashioned observation. Well-known for his out-of-the-box thinking regarding lubricant formulation, he has observed how specialist naphthenic oils from Nynas offer solutions for many of his customers’ solvency issues.

“Too often, when encountering a solvency problem, lubricant formulators reach for the easiest solution – adding an ester. But this is an expensive solvency solution and not the best one,” says Peter Dijke, R&D Director at Netherlands-based PXL Chemicals BV, the company he started when he retired from a long career in the lubricants industry.

Making it his business to help other businesses, large and small, to overcome formulation problems by developing and delivering innovative additive products and services, he has carved out a niche for himself that suits his experience and philosophy. 

“You can’t just go by the book. You need to observe the problems, develop reactions and additives, and experiment with different solutions,” he says. 

Peter Dijke, R&D Director at PXL Chemicals BV

Peter Dijke’s own observations have led him to realise that naphthenic mineral oils can be used to tackle several of the problems facing the industry. By applying an out-of-the-box attitude, he has found many applications where the properties of naphthenic mineral oil offer better and more cost-effective solutions than traditional or quick-fix remedies, such as adding an ester to solve issues relating to solvency. 

“Specialty naphthenic oil used as an additive offers a much more attractive solution for the solvency issues of modern base oils,” he says.

However, it is not always easy to convince the formulators that they might need to put aside their old recipes, long-held “beliefs”, and standardised methods.

“For example, some view the low viscosity index of naphthenic oil as a problem. But I say, you need to look at the mix, and you have to take into account both positive and negative points. The superior low temperature performance of naphthenic oil is an often-overlooked positive point,” he adds.

Finding the lubricant industry too slow to react to supply changes, he sees it heading for bigger and bigger problems, and calls for an attitude change, starting in the labs.

“Although today’s blending labs are fantastically modern and well-equipped, those working in them are not given the opportunity to experiment. So there is no pioneering and no observation of problems in the labs.”

As Peter Dijke, with his 40 years’ experience, puts it: “we are only 100 years into the development of lubricants, and now we are facing a moment of change”.

Further reading

See all news

Nynas leading the way at Tire Technology Expo

As the much-anticipated Tire Technology Expo in Hanover approaches, tire industry professionals and enthusiasts alike are gearing up for a showcase of cutting-edge technologies and advancements.

Safe alternative to creosote

Creosote is a category of carbonaceous chemicals that has been used as a wood preservative since the 19th century. But as it is a carcinogenic substance, there are good reasons to look for other options. Nynas NYTEX® grades can be part of a sustainable solution.

Nynas experts lecture at KTH

Nynas traditionally maintains a close partnership with universities and higher education institutions. An illustrative example of this is the lecture on the oil industry held for students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.