Current oil basics 101

SF/Bay Area, CA
This article provides clarity to many of the frequently-discussed topics on this board. I hope it helps. Bob, I'd also like to suggest that you collect what you feel is the "best of the board" and place it somewhere on your home page for the future reference of all of your readers.


Staff member
Iowegia - USA
In my view, the article only provides more subterfuge over what is a synthetic. "However, the definition of what is a synthetic has been somewhat confused by marketers referring to hydrotreated mineral stocks as either synthetic or semi-synthetic. Should it matter? It may depend on who does the refining and how." Only if you're interested in separating hype and organic chemistry. "The hydrotreating process significantly changes the physical and chemical properties of the base oil. The changes and chemical manipulations are substantial enough, says Petro-Can's Girard, that the synthetic label is justified in his own company's 'Duron' product. In that case, those manipulations include a dewaxing process called HydroIsomerization, as opposed to traditional 'chill' dewaxing, which is said to improve low-temperature fluidity or pour point dramatically so that it compares favorably with classic PAO synthetics. And that, as much as any other quality, he says, allows the 'synthetic' label." Sure he would, just the mention of the word "synthetic" brings a higher price for the fluid. "Products that are a mixture of pure PAO synthetic with basic Group I and II mineral stocks are also referred to as semi-synthetics. Not incidentally, there is no definition of how much of the mixture has to be synthetic to qualify it as a semi-synthetic. The relative amounts of the different stocks are determined by the blender. " Of course not, none of the petroleum people (API) or the SAE has enough intestinal fortitude to buck the petroleum refiners. Don't have any organic chemist input, or you might have a true definition of synthetic.