Oil is one of the most important fluids involved with the inner workings of an internal combustion engine. But who actually knows what engine oil is, and what do the automotive engineers expect from it? To put it simply, engine oil is a derivative of crude oil. Crude oil is found in deep underground pockets, from where it’s extracted and undergoes several refining processes. Among the many carbon chained molecules found in crude oil, engine oil is differentiated as the long chain alkane, cyclo-alkane, and aromatic molecules. Once sorted in refinement, these molecules are blended with detergents and additives to give the base oils alkalinity, corrosion resistance, and viscosity.
Alkalinity refers to the oil’s ability to absorb and neutralize acids- the unit of measure for this in petroleum products is known as the Total Base Number (TBN). (more…)