Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-1988
2003-05-19

The Impact of Passenger Car Motor Oils on Emissions Performance 2003-01-1988

Throughout the evolution of the automobile, passenger car motor oils have been developed to address issues of wear, corrosion, deposit formation, friction, and viscosity stability. As a result, the internal combustion engines are now developed with the expectation that the lubricants to be used in them will deliver certain performance attributes. Metallurgies, clearances, and built-in stresses are all chosen with certain expectations from the lubricant.
A family of chemicals that has been universally used in formulating passenger car motor oils is zinc dithiophosphates (ZDPs). ZDPs are extremely effective at protecting highly stressed valve train components against wear failure, especially in engine designs with a sliding contact between cams and followers.
While ZDPs' benefits on wear control are universally accepted, ZDPs have been identified as the source of phosphorus, which deactivates noble metal aftertreatment systems. This paper summarizes the transport mechanism, methods to test for the phenomenon, and methods to reduce the impact of ZDPs on aftertreatment systems.

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