What is synthetic oil made from?

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I've never read a good explination of what product is used to manufacture synthetic oil. Gas can be made from corn, that I understand. What is PAO?
 
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PAO is a synthetic hydrocarbon that is made by "building up" small, uniform ethylene gas molecules into larger, uniform molecules. This process is called "polymerization," and for "synthetic purests" it's the <i>sine qua non</i> of synthetic oils.
 
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I suppose you could make gas from corn, but typically they stop at the alcohol stage. [Big Grin] But what I advise is just get a basic entry level organic chemistry book - and find out the wonder of O-chem. With C as the building block fun can be had.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Mystic: Since Castrol won that court case a while back, legally a Group III motor oil can be considered a synthetic.
Everyone should be clear about something: There was no suit AT LAW between Mobil and Castrol. Mobil filed a complaint with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus alleging that Castrol was engaging in false advertising by claiming their Group III based Syntec was "fully synthetic." The NAD rulled that based on the evidence put forth, Group III base oil could legitmately be called "synthetic." The NAD is merely a self-regulatory arm of the BBB and has no legal standing whatsoever in the U.S. Hence, their ruling in this matter does not make it "legal" to claim that a Group III oil is "synthetic." It merely means that for any entity willing to abide by the NAD's guidelines, a Group III oil can be ADVERTISED under those guidelines as a synthetic.
 
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Getting back to the original question, PAO is an acronym for polyalphaolefin. The other generally accepted "true" synthetics are esters/diesters which are made from alcohols treated with acids. These could possibly be made from corn. PAO is made from petroleum refinery feedstocks similar to polyethylene plastic and ethylene glycol coolants, so it is still "dino" in some respect.
 

greencrew

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RE: based Syntec was "fully synthetic." The NAD rulled that based on the evidence put forth, Group III base oil could legitmately be called "synthetic." I did not intend to include Group III systhetics in my question, but I suppose it's an important part of why I asked the question in the first place. So if PAO "is made by "building up" small, uniform ethylene gas molecules into larger, uniform molecules," and group III produced from hydrocracking large molecules into smaller molecules, then why is one more valid then the other? What evidence was this decision based on?
 

MolaKule

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quote:
So if PAO "is made by "building up" small, uniform ethylene gas molecules into larger, uniform molecules," and group III produced from hydrocracking large molecules into smaller molecules, then...
The definition stems from organic chemistry and the accepted definition was there long before the Mobil/Castrol marketing fiasco. One of the diesters, are made from azelaic acid, derived from the ozone reaction of oleic acid. Another diester is made from sebasic acid which is derived from the oxidation of castor acid. Mobil once used a monobasic acid to make a diester derived from coconut oil. The most common raw material for PAO, a synthesized hydrocarbon, is decene-1 which is derived from ethylene gasses, a plentiful gas at the refinery. Many of the polyol esters are can be made from vegetable oils, but most of the components for polyolesters (acids and alcohols) are derived from various refinery products.
 

greencrew

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Thanks MolaKule, that clears it up quite a bit, or at least as much as it going to with my uneducated understanding. Heck, I just figured out your name on this site today, so sometimes I catch on a little slow. I also noticed that your #59 and your register date is a year before mine. It looks like this site has not been around long.
 

Patman

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quote:
Originally posted by greencrew: Thanks MolaKule, that clears it up quite a bit, or at least as much as it going to with my uneducated understanding. Heck, I just figured out your name on this site today, so sometimes I catch on a little slow. I also noticed that your #59 and your register date is a year before mine. It looks like this site has not been around long.
In this form, the site began on Memorial Day weekend 2002, although Bob had a different forum software running before that on his main site, but it wasn't organized quite like this and didn't have as many contributors and not as many UOAs were posted either.
 
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