Some questions for the "polymerization = only true syn" folks...

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GTL is coming. Where are you on base oils produced by the Fischer-Tropsch process? It ain't PAO, but it's still "synthetic" by your definition, right? If Shell decides to go the GTL route for its XHVI (i.e., isomerization of waxy raffinate produced by FT), would you consider that base oil a "synthetic" since the feedstock is synthetic? And finally, how do you think FT base oils will be classified? Group V? It can't be Group IV since that's only PAOs. [ December 19, 2002, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: XHVI ]
 
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I don't know and will watch with minimal interest as chemists and marketers fight for their bottom lines. It's nothing new; a game of words over advancing technology. What's important is performance vs. price. To be honest, from this consumer, please get out of the shell games and sell product based on performance at appropriate prices. Might it have been more useful to ask for opinions on the merits of this new refining process? That could be an interesting discussion if separated from marketing issues. David
 

G-MAN

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Originally posted by OneQuartLow: Might it have been more useful to ask for opinions on the merits of this new refining process? That could be an interesting discussion if separated from marketing issues.
If you think this question is worthwhile and would spawn a good discussion, by all means ask it and wait for answers. I happen to think my question is worthwhile and would spawn a good discussion. Words and definitions are a part of the oil business, irrespective of performance. I happen to think GTL is going to throw another monkey wrench in the "What is synthetic?" issue, and it will have much more to do with how the oil is made than with marketing BS. It could very well end the Group III issue, since FT base oil will probably edge out Group III and may encroach on PAO because it's cheaper to produce. The issue then for the "synthetic purist" would be is the "true syn" PAO or FT. Since the purists are using polymerization as the criterion now, I'm just wondering what the new criterion will be when the choice is between PAO and FT.
 
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It is my understanding that GTL has been shelved for the time being, The plant in Aussie/Sprintman land is shutting down. If not whos cranking it up and where?
 

MolaKule

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XHVI, I think the topic would be an interesting one. Just to get on track, are you referring to the paper in Lubrication Engineering, June 2002, pp. 29-33, by Wei Song, et. al.,"New High Performance Synthetic Hydrocarbon Base Stocks." ?
 

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Originally posted by MolaKule: XHVI, I think the topic would be an interesting one. Just to get on track, are you referring to the paper in Lubrication Engineering, June 2002, pp. 29-33, by Wei Song, et. al.,"New High Performance Synthetic Hydrocarbon Base Stocks." ?
To be honest, I'm thinking about half a dozen different articles I've read over the past year dealing with FT. This may be one of them, but I don't remember. I don't know what made me think about FT tonight, but when I did, I thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion.
 

MolaKule

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XHVI, It would be intersting if you could list your references that you speak of. Also, maybe explain why you think the FT process is germain to the "it is, is not" discussion. [Smile] Around June 6th I posted in the Interesting Article thread: http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000115#000011 When I find the paper (I copied it, but can't locate it at the moment) I can supply more info. As I recall, EOP was similar in molecular structure to PAO in just about every way, and was derived using similar processes. At the time I was enthusiastic about the new base oil because it looked very promising, and still feel that way. If EOP comes to the market, it has to be included in the Group IV category. I say that because when a new Ester type is introduced, they don't issue a new group category for it. Now for the very advanced fluids that are being developed, I suspect that new categories will emerge with new category definitions. As of right now, experimentation is being done on, and with fluids that don't seem to fall into any current category. [ December 19, 2002, 11:52 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 

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Originally posted by MolaKule: XHVI, It would be intersting if you could list your references that you speak of. Also, maybe explain why you think the FT process is germain to the "it is, is not" discussion.
If I can find the links to the articles, I'll post them. It's germain, because (if I understand the process correctly), FT produces long-chain hydrocarbon molecules from CO molecules. This is polymerization, no?
 

Patman

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Originally posted by XHVI: And finally, how do you think FT base oils will be classified? Group V? It can't be Group IV since that's only PAOs.
Group V is already in existance, that is for esters.
 

G-MAN

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Originally posted by Patman: Group V is already in existance, that is for esters.
Actually, Group V is a "catch all" for base oil types not included in Group I -IV. It's not strictly for esters.
 

Patman

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quote:
Originally posted by XHVI:
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: Group V is already in existance, that is for esters.
Actually, Group V is a "catch all" for base oil types not included in Group I -IV. It's not strictly for esters.

Thanks for the clarification, I did not realize that! [Cheers!]
 

MolaKule

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True, in the Group V classification there is exotic stuff like perflouropolyalkyethers, siloxanes, chloroflourocarbons, polymethylethers, etc.
 

MolaKule

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A bit of history and on to the Rest of the Story. Franz Fisher and Hans Tropsch developed a catalyst (the Fischer-Tropsch catalyst or FT) in 1925 that converted coal gas into petroleum products. Germany was deficient in oil resources, but had major coal reserves, and by 1941 had converted coal gas to 740,000 tons of petroleum. FT is based on a complex series of reactions that reduce carbon monoxide to CH2 groups linked to form hydrocarbons. Thus, Shell was not the first to use this process! So the FT process (in a nutshell) converts gasses to liquid petroleums. From the paper above, the Ethylene-alpha-Olefin-Polymer, or EOP, is a created by a polymerization process using the Zeigler-Natta (metallocene) catalysts only after the basic raw materials, are in place, visa vis, the monomers of ethylene, propylene, and butene. "By utilizing the SSC, the authors have developed an innovative technology that directly polymerizes inexpensive and abundant monomers including ethylene, propylene, and butene. (Heilman, et. al., (2000)). The polymerization reaction typically occurs at 50 C and 2 atm [30 psi] and with high monomer conversion. Reaction products have demonstrated to exhibit comparable physical and chemical properties to PAO's." So in my view, and Penzoil/Quaker State Chemists, and the University of Amherst Chemists, and various organgic chemistry texts dispute your definition of synthetics which do not follow the literature's definition of what is a true synthetic. Edit: Cleaned up typos and added references. 1. Lubrication Engineering, June 2002, pp. 29-33, by Wei Song, et. al.,"New High Performance Synthetic Hydrocarbon Base Stocks." 2. Bodner, Pardue, "Chemistry: An experimental Science," Chapter 24, The Organic Chemistry of Carbon. 3. Morrison and Boyd, "Organic Chemistry," Sixth Edition, Chapter 31, Macromolecules: Polymers and Polymerization. [ December 21, 2002, 05:32 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 

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Originally posted by MolaKule: Thus, Shell was not the first to use this process! So the FT process (in a nutshell) converts gasses to liquid petroleums.
I never said Shell was the first to use the process. What I did say (in another thread) was that while they HAVE used the process to produce XHVI, FT waxy raffinate is still not the primary feedstock for XHVI. From what I've read about GTL and FT, when it comes to base oil, it's not a straight gas-to-base oil process. FT can produce wax, and the base oil is produced by hydroisomerization of the wax. Hence, when it comes to GTL base oil, the feedstock is a product of polymerization (hence, it's "synthetic"), but the process used to produce the base oil is exactly the same process used by Shell to produce XHVI from slack wax: hydroisomerization and hydrofinishing. Hence, the crux of my question: Would you consider such a base oil to be "synthetic" since the base oil itself isn't the product of polymerization, but the feedstock is?
 
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Originally posted by MolaKule: True, in the Group V classification there is exotic stuff like perflouropolyalkyethers, siloxanes, chloroflourocarbons, polymethylethers, etc.
[Freak] ??? How do you even pronounce these names?? [ December 21, 2002, 06:43 PM: Message edited by: Last_Z ]
 

G-MAN

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Originally posted by MolaKule: Please clarify which "bases" you are discissing? The monomers or the final product?
I'm talking about the base oil used to formulate motor oil.
 
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XHVI, I read something by Chevron or Mobil on this topic ...they feel the GTL basestocks will be more like Group III, petroleum derived oils than PAO's. I believe this article was in Lubricants World about 6-8 months ago, when the topic of GTL was being discussed. If Shell wants their product to be universally accepted as synthetic, they should make it out of PAO and quit trying to use "label engineering". I don't think that Group III oils will ever be accepted by savvy consumers as true "synthetics", FWIW. You can thank your buddies at Castrol for that .... TS
 

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Originally posted by TooSlick: If Shell wants their product to be universally accepted as synthetic, they should make it out of PAO and quit trying to use "label engineering". I don't think that Group III oils will ever be accepted by savvy consumers as true "synthetics", FWIW. You can thank your buddies at Castrol for that ....
FWIW, I don't think Shell really cares if people accept their XHVI based oils as "synthetic." The companies and racers in Europe who have been using XHVI based oils for years and know the performance capabilities of the oil probably don't give a hoot what's printed on the bottle. As for Rotella T Syn (the only XHVI based oil currently marketed in the US), I think the same thing will happen: folks (like me) will use it, be happy with its performance, and continue to use it irrespective of how it's marketed or if the PAO purist want to poo-poo it as a synthetic pretender.
 
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