Lubricants produced using the cutting edge technology known as
Hydrocracking is a technology whereby the molecules of crude oil
are actually chemically converted into highly desirable lubricant components of unparalleled
quality - free of all impurities which contribute to the degradation of
conventional lubricants in service. So pure in fact, that the advantage of
hydrocracked base oils translate into synthetic-like performance characteristics
in finished lubricants with regard to:
- oxidation stability
- low carbon-forming tendency
- response to addititives
- low volatility
- viscosity stability
- light color
What's more, hydrocracking, unlike traditional solvent refining, is not
dependent on the availability of specific lube crudes and, thus, permits the
economic production of lubricant base stocks from a wide range of crude oils.
Hydrocracking can even convert high-sulpher, or sour, crude oils into base oils
of higher quality than those produced by the traditional solvent extraction
method-even if the traditional; process starts with a higher quality sweet
- The multistage process begins by distilling
feedstock from Conoco's Lake Charles Refinery in a giant vacuum
tower. This unit boils the feedstock, separating it into distillates
and vacuum gas oils.
- These waxy vacuum gas oils are gathered and piped
to the hydrocracker, where the process of molecularly converting the
- The hydrocracker's one foot thick walls are capable
of withstanding pressure of 3,000 pounds per square inch and heat of
1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In this high-temperature, high-pressure
environment, the oil molecules become very reactive.
- By adding hydrogen to the molecules in this
reactive state in the presence of a catalyst, the impurities which
contribute to lubricant degradation-nitrogen, sulpher, oxygen and
heavy metals- are eliminated. then with the addition of more
hydrogen, again in the presence of a catalyst, molecular rearrangement
of the feedstock occurs to produce the desired paraffinic-type
lubricant base stock compounds, widely acknowledged for there
superior quality as basic building blocks for finished lubricants.
- As the altered stock continues to the next
processing stage, it is noticeably lighter in color, a result of the
absence of contaminants.
- Now in the hydrodewaxer, undesirable wax is
molecularly restructured to resist gelling and improve pumpability,
even at exceptionally cold temperatures.
- finally, in the hydrofinisher, hydrogen is used
once more to remove aromatics and the last traces of impurities and
stabilize the molecular structure of the newly formed base stock,
ensuring oxidation stability and extended lubricant service life.
The rsulting finished stock is so pure it is water-white.