PAO or group III ?

I posted this under another topic with no replies, so I figured I try it here. This oil is not available in the US, or North America, but I did find a supplier that will ship it to me. The links are the closest thing I found to a MSDS sheet. I think one may be a PAO while the other (the one I want) is a group III base oil. I was hoping somebody could interpret this for me. Thanks
quote:
I did some searching and I think the "synthetic" ultra 4 10w-40 may be a group III base oil (not sure. shell advance ultra 4 10w/40 It also appears that the Shell Advance ultra 2 (two stroke?) may have 30-60% synthetic base oil with some group III added in. shell advance ultra 2 Can anybody interpret this for me?
 

Al

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Welll the first one looks like "Hydrofinished" which is group II or II+ (I think) The second is "synthetic base" whatever that means. Sorry these are just guesses. [I dont know] Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will post.
 
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How can people maintain that a GIII oil is NOT synthetic? These basestocks are reacted in the presence of catalysts to create new friggin molecules that do not occur in nature or a hydrogen saturation process. It is much more severe. PAO is the same thing, just starting with a smaller molecule. Albeit with better consistancy. End the debate and call everything GV and beyond a synthetic. Esters are just that esters produced from reacting an acid and an alcohol, not even oils rather lubricating fluids. Look into the history of synthetic marketing and you'll find that Mobil still markets SHC (synthetic hydrocarbon) to industrial clients. Oils became "synthetics" when the gearheads got a hold of SHC. To deny GIII being called synthetic would make an unfair marketing situation for PAO because of the marketing traction "synthetic" has. Group III oil is very good and should be allowed to be marketed as SHC. If it is not, the cost of "synthetics" would be far more. The decision to do this ultimatly protects the consumer. If you preceive a GIII based oil to be inferior to a GIV PAO that's fine but the basestock is but one component of the finished product.
 

Al

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Well to me a "true" synthetic is made by synthesizing two or more compounds to produce a totally new compound. That lets out the Group III's to me. Also I resent the trickery used in the marketing of Syntec. BTW-I would feel this way even if this Group III Castrol Syntec outperfored Mobil I in every catagory. Buts thats just me [Smile]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Al: Well to me a "true" synthetic is made by synthesizing two or more compounds to produce a totally new compound. That lets out the Group III's to me. Also I resent the trickery used in the marketing of Syntec. BTW-I would feel this way even if this Group III Castrol Syntec outperfored Mobil I in every catagory. Buts thats just me [Smile]
How does that let out Group III? Group III is the product of chemical reactions in the presence of catalysts under very severe conditions. The result is an essentially pure base oil with excellent properties. The word "synthetic" in the language of oil marketing has become synonymous with high quality. Group IV was available for years, then along came econmical Group III available from Chevron and Shell. The added production of high quality oils was a good thing for consumers. The marketing has now been brought into line so oils off similar quality but different manufacture can now compete in the same markets. Castrol did make a boo boo when it tried to hide the origin of it' basestock - motivated by fear of consumer ignorance I imagine. The bottom line is PAO based lubes are probably trying hard to stay in tyhe market because the base oil is more costly leaving little room for a great additive package at a set price point (OTC oils). The boutique oils are great PAO and esters but look at the price! Companies like Castrol and Chevron produce quality products and have much more money left over in the product cost budget to use a great additive package. Why people get all lathered over GIII vs GIV is beyond me. You ARE NOT getting ripped off when you buy a GIII product, it may even surpass a GIV product when the add pack is assessed. To see the pressure Mobil is under to keep M1 on top look how many times they have reformulated. Ask yourself why they did it, there are two reasons: 1. They did it to improve product performance, seems odd to me since M1 is marketed as a no compromise oil and it's been altered quite a few times lately. 2. They did it to control production costs and keep whatever razor thin margin they have with this product either by changing the baseoil or add pack. And may have compromised performance. It's your choice but to select motor oil based on it's basestock alone is not looking at the full picture.
 
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Al, Please see my post in the VOA section ....You should keep an open mind about these things. The PC Duron 5w-40 is about $17.00/gallon and works extremely well .... Ted
 
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I think the point is -- and if you read most posts about the Group III vs. PAO "thing" you'll see this -- it's cheaper for a company to produce a Group III oil: period. The raw materials are cheaper, the process is cheaper, and, therefore, the end result should be cheaper. Why isn't it? Given that, and the fact that a Group IV and/or Group V oil is always going to have the performance edge -- albeit a small one -- why should I pay a company like Castrol my $4.50/qt? All things being equal, why shouldn't I spend the $4.50 on oil that justifiably should cost that much, vs. one that I should only be paying $2.50 for? As soon as you find a Group III oil that actually does outperform a Mobil 1, Redline, or Amsoil, then we'll talk. Until then, it's just not worth what they're charging, so I'm not going to pay for it.
 
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I agree essentially with sub_zero's points. (If I understand correctly what I read from several white papers put out by both ExxonMobil and Chevron, Group II base stocks are essentially processed in the same catalytic hydrogen pressure cooker equipment that Group IIIs are. The difference being allowing the brew to "cook" longer for Group III production. The resulting product has had nearly all its residual wax and aromatics chemically converted to desirable, specific chain length, paraffin oils. The remainder are only present in trace amounts.) Chevron, in its landmark 1999 white paper, The Synthetic Nature of Group III Base oils (a PDF file that requires installation of Acrobat Reader), stated that, "...80% [emphasis mine] of the original VGO feedstock...was confirmed to have been catalytically transformed..." It could be argued (and WAS, successfully, by Castrol) that catalytically transforming residual undesirable waxes and solvents through hydrogen saturation to desirable lube molecules met the chemical definition of "synthesis". The ONLY argument I find merit with by the anti-Group III crowd is that Group IIIs cost little more to actually produce than Group II/Group II+ base stocks when compared to the production cost of PAOs, but the finished product blenders often market Group III synthetic finished motor oils at or near the same price point as PAO synthetic finished motor oils. Hopefully this practice will change or at least stabilize as the supply of Group III base stocks continues to increase. Conversely, given the limits on the supplies of methane (the starting point on the energy and resource-hungry march to form 1-decene which is then polymerized and saturated to the required molecular chain length, I believe), the price point of PAOs can only go up. [ November 11, 2003, 05:00 PM: Message edited by: Ray H ]
 
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quote:
To see the pressure Mobil is under to keep M1 on top look how many times they have reformulated. Ask yourself why they did it, there are two reasons: 1. They did it to improve product performance, seems odd to me since M1 is marketed as a no compromise oil and it's been altered quite a few times lately. 2. They did it to control production costs and keep whatever razor thin margin they have with this product either by changing the baseoil or add pack. And may have compromised performance. It's your choice but to select motor oil based on it's basestock alone is not looking at the full picture. [/QB]
Well, no, I'd say they did it because they're the last OTC Group IV on the market, and in order to continue being that they need to keep coming up with fresh reasons to justify buying their oil vs. a hydrocracked version of synth. It's marketing vs. marketing. Add to that the fact that all of your Group III oils are guilty of essentially the same things you outline in point 2 above, at the expense of point 1 I would say, I really don't get what you're saying. In fact, it's the move to Group III led by Castrol that pretty much started the whole thing, no? Aren't they guilty of *exactly* what you're talking about in the quote above? At least Mobil didn't slide down into a completely different group when they reformulated to save costs -- and the Group III gang didn't even have the courtesy to pass along the cost to us. (Shocked.) Finally, to assert that something can't be improved is a little silly, to say the least. And don't they all say they're the best? Is Mobil 1 really the only company to be called on the carpet for that? I for one am not such a sucker that I actually get offended when a product claims to be the best and then, *gasp* comes out with a "new and improved" version. Betrayal! Uh, no ... marketing. Engines are different, driving styles are different, and oils are going to behave differently based on those and many other factors. No, I won't be surprised the day that Mobil 1 quietly makes the move to Group III to save some money, and I'm sure, like Castrol, they'll be telling us all that it's "better than ever."
 
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quote:
Originally posted by kev99sl: As soon as you find a Group III oil that actually does outperform a Mobil 1, Redline, or Amsoil, then we'll talk. Until then, it's just not worth what they're charging, so I'm not going to pay for it. ... I won't be surprised the day that Mobil 1 quietly makes the move to Group III...
There's been speculation on this site that German Castrol 0W-30 is a blend of Group III and esters and there's been further speculation that it outperforms M1. Not subject to speculation are the excellent results from UOAs on this forumulation. ExxonMobil may or may not ever use Group IIIs base stocks in Mobil 1, but the company is one of the largest Group III producers in the world. It has a HUGE refinery in Indonesia dedicated to Group III lube base stock production. Obviously, however the market decides, ExxonMobil is positioned to profit handsomely from both a supply as well as production-cost standpoint. Mobil's loss to Castrol in the National Advertising Division arbitration was a "paper" loss only for the company. They've been crying all the way to the bank ever since.
 

medic

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quote:
Originally posted by sub_zero: How can people maintain that a GIII oil is NOT synthetic?
I just want to say, all of this group III vs. IV & V talk in this thread is due to somebody jumping the gun. Never did I or anybody imply that group III oils are or aren't synthetic oils. I simply asked if anybody could interpret whatever language that these links may be so I would know what the base oil was. I never intended this to turn into another group III vs. IV & V thread. This has been debated numerous times already, not only on here, but in other places with other people. We all have our opinions on group III oils and will not change them - most until they see proof in the form of extended OCI UOA's. And, if anybody can answer the original question I would apreciate the help. [ November 11, 2003, 05:47 PM: Message edited by: medic ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Ray H:
quote:
Originally posted by kev99sl: As soon as you find a Group III oil that actually does outperform a Mobil 1, Redline, or Amsoil, then we'll talk. Until then, it's just not worth what they're charging, so I'm not going to pay for it. ... I won't be surprised the day that Mobil 1 quietly makes the move to Group III...
There's been speculation on this site that German Castrol 0W-30 is a blend of Group III and esters and there's been further speculation that it outperforms M1. Not subject to speculation are the excellent results from UOAs on this forumulation. ExxonMobil may or may not ever use Group IIIs base stocks in Mobil 1, but the company is one of the largest Group III producers in the world. It has a HUGE refinery in Indonesia dedicated to Group III lube base stock production. Obviously, however the market decides, ExxonMobil is positioned to profit handsomely from both a supply as well as production-cost standpoint. Mobil's loss to Castrol in the National Advertising Division arbitration was a "paper" loss only for the company. They've been crying all the way to the bank ever since.

I never claimed that Mobil has in any way been damaged financially by Castrol's move to Group III. Mobil refines and sells oil, and Group III oil is ... well, oil. So no surprise that they refine, sell, and profit from the production of Group III oil. When it comes to Mobil 1, obviously, they feel that there is a benefit to staying with Group IV, at least for the time-being, even though everyone else has gone to Group III. Whether this is because of purists like those on this board who want nothing less than a Group IV oil, or whether there is an actual performance edge over Group III oils is a moot point: If they were hurting, they'd have made the switch a long time ago along with the rest of the OTC world. My point is a simple one: Group III oils shouldn't cost as much as Group IV. I won't pay Group IV prices for a Group III oil. And, I reiterate, there's no question in my mind that a Group III oil -- or for that matter a Group II oil -- can outperform a Group IV/V oil given the right engine/driving style/temperature combination. There's also no question that there are some excellent Group III oils out there. The point is, the whole big stink about Castrol and the Group III thing has less to do with performance and more to do with price. Give me a great Group III oil and charge me $2.50/qt. for it, and maybe we'll talk.
 
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This is widely speculative: I'm no chemical engineer but it would seem to me that an expensive Group IV base stock leaves less room for a high quality additive pakage at a given price point. Mobil has great market penetration and will do anything to protect the market share. As Group III oils are less costly to produce a larger part of the product cost budget can go toward a high quality additive package. Better performance may be available in a GIII formulation. The Castrol Syntec product is the flagship for the North American market and is priced closely to Mobil 1. Given the above economics I can be fairly sure Syntec is an excellent oil. It's not all about the base oil. Alot of performance comes from the additive package. If it is compromised certain high performance characteristics will surely be lost or diminished.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by sub_zero: This is widely speculative: I'm no chemical engineer but it would seem to me that an expensive Group IV base stock leaves less room for a high quality additive pakage at a given price point. Mobil has great market penetration and will do anything to protect the market share. As Group III oils are less costly to produce a larger part of the product cost budget can go toward a high quality additive package. Better performance may be available in a GIII formulation. The Castrol Syntec product is the flagship for the North American market and is priced closely to Mobil 1. Given the above economics I can be fairly sure Syntec is an excellent oil. It's not all about the base oil. Alot of performance comes from the additive package. If it is compromised certain high performance characteristics will surely be lost or diminished.
Well yes, that is highly speculative to say the least. You're welcome to your opinion, but it seems like you're making a fairly big leap of faith. I'm not certain I'd base my choice of oil on assumptions about how a company is spending their money on development. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Besides which, if your base oil provides, say, 70% of what you need, you only require your additive package to carry 30% of the load, so to speak. Consider the use of VI improvers, as one example. A high-quality Group IV or V oil already has inherently excellent VI characteristics: no need to beef it up so much with the additive package. Same can be said for pour-point. So while I agree that the base oil isn't everything, I disagree with the opposite assertion it seems like you're making: that the additive package is everything. We can sit here and speculate that a cheap, nasty Group I oil can be made great if it has a really, really good additive package, but until that's borne out in analysis (or at least in my personal experience), I'll pass. That said, Group III oils are fine oils indeed, as you've said. Let's just say I don't share your generosity when it comes to assumptions about the motives of those oil companies that produce cheaper Group III-based oils and charge Group IV prices.
 
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Hey Ray, would you know anything about the processes? -- Group II base stocks are essentially processed in the same catalytic hydrogen pressure cooker equipment that Group IIIs are. The difference being allowing the brew to "cook" longer for Group III production. -- Was wondering, HOW may Group II or II+ processings are there? Also, What specifically makes it a Group II??? How many different base stocks make up the group II profile? If you took a group II oil and used a different base stock and different refining process, what would the result be? a group II++ ? --- Maybe the Cost has something to do with something everyone is overlooking - Humm!!!
 
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I do agree that G III should be less costly than GIV. But you have to charge what the a=market will bear. As long as Mobil 1 is around with it's market share all sorts of companies will be able to ride it's coat tails. As for additives I do think it is very important, I've seen oil made and in alot of cases oil from different brands is made in the same plant. The only thing different is the additive package, same goes for gasoline.
 
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