Additives: Packaged or Formulated?

TC

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A while back I read this excerpt from the June 2002 bulletin on Cam2's website (www.cam2.com), and am curious as to its significance: "ADDITIVE COMPANIES (Over the last five years additive companies have consolidated from eight to only four.) Today, there are only four additive companies that can supply licensed additive systems: LUBRIZOL INFINEUM ORONITE ETHYL To our knowledge, almost all fully (API) licensed branded lubricants use one of these four additive systems. The expense to research, develop and license an additive system, and now do it every two years, has made it prohibitive for any one oil company to do alone. It is probable, that due to this tremendous expense there may be further consolidation of additive suppliers." (End of Cam2 comments.) After reading this, I assumed that motor oil producers purchase an off-the-shelf additive package for a given product they're formulating. But the VOAs on this board suggest that additive formulations can vary widely, with little simularity not only between different oil firms' products, but sometimes even between the individual brands under a given corporate umbrella. So my question is, are most additive packages acquired as a ready-to-go approved package, or is there cosiderable "a little of this, a little of that" chemistry R&D by motor oil producers? An analogy would be baking a cake from scratch while using pre-packaged, ready-to-go filling and frosting, as opposed to experimenting with ALL cake ingredients from scratch, with no set recipe. And I'm not sure how the licensing process interplays with this. Thanks!
 
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Each additive company has several approved packages. The proper uses of these packages depend on what base oil is being used (%saturated, etc.) and what the blender wants his final oil to look like. As an example, the Oronite OLOA 8805X package is sometimes used at a 2% level (wt) to produce a SB/CB oil, up to an 6% rate to produce a SF/CF-2 oil. Then they can add 2.6 of OLOA 2982 to bring it up to a SG/CF-4. At 8.8% it would meet MD 227.0/.1 standards. Then they add pour point depresants, VI improvers, seal swell ("older engine" formulations", etc.
 
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Excellent question, one that I've been thinking about lately. I don't have the answer, but I think it's a little of both. I know for Mobil 1, exxonmobil uses selected additives for their oils that they make. They claim NOT to use additive packages and this makes sense being they make most of the chemistry. A company like Amsoil will work closely with chemists from Ethyl and Lubrizol and basically do what widman said I imagine. I don't really know how it works. I do know Lubrizol is a global leader in additive packages. [ October 10, 2003, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by buster: Excellent question, one that I've been thinking about lately. I don't have the answer, but I think it's a little of both. I know for Mobil 1, exxonmobil uses selected additives for their oils that they make. They claim NOT to use additive packages and this makes sense being they make most of the chemistry. A company like Amsoil will work closely with chemists from Ethyl and Lubrizol and basically do what widman said I imagine. I don't really know how it works. I do know Lubrizol is a global leader in additive packages.
I think you have it backwards. All of Amsoils oils are formulated and not packages. My guess is that all of Mobils non synthetics are packages designed to save the time and cost of API licensing. I would guess that the synthetics are also packages. Note: I use the term packaged with respect to Mobil in a different way from other oil companies packages. That being that Mobil produces its own packages. Mobil may indeed submit one package for API that it produces inhouse but use it across the board with slight modifications for all its oils. One package for synthetic and one for dino's.
 
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I was told by Mobil that they don't use additive packages. It's more likely Amsoil uses additive packages being they are a blender. It really doesn't matter as I'm sure everything is "custom" tailored for each oil.
 

TC

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Thanks for insight into this question, guys. Sounds like a possible mix of three answers: Some oil makers use ready-to-go packages, some use same but "tweak" the packages a bit, and possibly a few might even formulate from scratch. I should also mention that the article stated there are unlicensed packages which mimic the API fully-licensed packages, for what it's worth.
 
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Here's a listing of 105 companies that make or sell lubricant additives http://www.lubricants-ez.com/lubricants/0020633_0020634_1.html Infineum, based in the U.K., "...is a joint venture between ExxonMobil Chemical Company, a division of the Exxon Mobil Corporation, The Shell Petroleum Company Ltd and Shell Oil Company. Infineum has over 70 years experience in formulating high-quality fuel, lubricant and specialty additives." The big advantage of buying a pre-licensed package is that the very expensive testing for the API license has already been done. Ken [ October 12, 2003, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: Ken2 ]
 
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